Quality in Primary Care Open Access

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Quality and Outcomes Framework: smoke and mirrors?

Mark Ashworth, Maria Kordowicz

Since its inception in 2004 the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) has become embedded in the fabric of day-to-day general practice. Yet despite some of its tangible successes, the QOF’s vulnerability to gaming poses challenges to its applicability as the dominant quality improvement framework in primary care. This paper questions whether high QOF scores amount to better care or simply the illusory effects of better data recording. Suggestions for developing QOF are made in the light of its limitations as a public health improvement initiative.