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Palliative care (PC) QOF tips

Tips for improving QOF scores in this area and current indicators for 2013/14.

Practices should make sure the register is accurate (Picture: SPL)
Practices should make sure the register is accurate (Picture: SPL)

Tips for improving achievement

Former RCGP chairman Professor Mayur Lakhani, a Leicestershire GP and chairman of the Dying Matters Coalition, says GPs need to make sure that patients are on the register.

‘We’ve found that GPs are providing good palliative care, but some patients are not recorded on the register,’ he says. ‘You need to build you register and make sure it’s accurate. You should have 1 per cent of patients on there, but very few practices get to that.'

Professor Lakhani adds that practices also need to ‘think broadly’ about end-of-life care. ‘You need to include people without cancer,' he says. 'Only about a quarter of people who die in general practice have cancer, others will die from respiratory diseases like COPD, CKD, fraility or dementia. One question GPs can ask themselves is: "Would I be surprised if this patient were to die in the next year?"’

Professor Lakhani also argues that it is good practice to tell people when you are adding them to your palliative care register. ‘The reason for putting people on the register is to have a discussion with them about end-of-life issues,’ he says.

The Dying Matters Coalition has developed a suggested set of Read codes, which practices can use to help ensure ‘all patients in need’ are included on their palliative care registers, and includes on its website advice to help GPs identify patients who may benefit from end-of-life care. 

Current indicators

Palliative care (PC) indicators Points

PC001: The contractor establishes and maintains a register available of all patients in need of palliative care/support irrespective of age.


PC002: The contractor has regular (at least 3 monthly) multidisciplinary case review meetings where all patients on the palliative care register are discussed.



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