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An introduction to quality improvement in QOF

As of 1 April 2019, the Quality Outcomes Framework (QOF) in England includes modules based around quality improvement (QI) on prescribing safety and on end of life care.

The QI domain has been introduced to enable practices to recognise areas of care which require a greater focus, and support them to take steps to address this through the development and implementation of a quality improvement plan and sharing of learning across their network.

The QI modules set specific objectives for each topic which practices are expected to work towards and provides advice on quality improvement activities. Within the parameters of the guidance provided, practices are encouraged to understand where they have the potential to make quality improvements and then to design and implement bespoke quality improvement plans, including improvement targets to address these.

The QOF QI section of the learning network contains useful resources and case studies which provide examples of how practices could approach their quality improvement activity.

We have also developed a flowchart of the process which practices have to follow for each of the QOF QI modules.

QOF QI flowchart

To support you as you start to embed these QI modules, we have several resources and programmes available:

  • The RCGP Quality Improvement for General Practice guide is a key resource which demonstrates accessible and workable interventions at practice level.
  • A brief introduction to quality improvement which provides a simple, practical framework.
  • The RCGP QI e-learning modules can assist practice teams to better understand quality improvement methodologies, core aspects of completing QI and how to involve the whole team.
  • If you’re looking for an extra step of recognition, you can become QI Ready accredited as an individual and we will soon be launching a practice level accreditation.
  • The Health Foundation has supported a range of improvement projects based in general practice. More information about these projects, together with relevant publications and resources can be found on the website.
  • The NICE Practical Steps is an online guide to putting NICE guidelines into guidance and provides tools to support this.
  • The Primary Care Development Programme

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