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High quality care for patients

PUBLISHED: 11:31 01 October 2008 | UPDATED: 21:24 05 July 2010

Doctors' surgeries are continuing to deliver high-quality care according to new ratings.

The region's GP practices have scored highly on the Quality Outcomes Framework (QOF), introduced in 2004 as part of doctors' contracts.

Doctors' surgeries are continuing to deliver high-quality care according to new ratings.

The region's GP practices have scored highly on the Quality Outcomes Framework (QOF), introduced in 2004 as part of doctors' contracts. The criteria have been made more stringent - but a handful of practices locally have scored the maximum 1,000 points.

In the NHS Norfolk area these were the Bacon Road Medical Centre in Norwich, Dr Harris-Hall and Partners in Mundesley, Heathgate surgery in Poringland, Old Mill surgery in Poringland, Paston surgery in North Walsham, Upwell Health Centre near Wisbech and Watlington Medical Centre.

In the Yarmouth and Waveney area, top scorers were Andaman Surgery in Lowestoft, Newtown Surgery in Yarmouth and Rosedale surgery in Carlton Colville.

The average across Norfolk surgeries was 98.4pc, and 98.3pc in Yarmouth and Waveney. The national average was 96.8pc.

Under the QOF, practices get paid extra for a range of specific aspects of clinical care, how well the practice is organised, the patient experience and the extra services offered.

Dr Chris Francis, a partner at Bacon Road Medical Centre, said: “We are very proud. The QOF is important because it is based on evidence. I think patients can be reassured if their practice has scored above 90pc.”

Dr Paul Millard, from Upwell Medical Centre, said: “I am delighted with the efforts of all our staff. The measures are agreed between the government and the profession as beneficial things to do, especially for patients with chronic illnesses.

“There is a risk of being target driven but I think there are enough checks and balances.”

Simon Lockett, secretary of Norfolk's Local Medical Committee of doctors - and whose own surgery, Taverham, scored 99.9pc - said: “I think Norfolk patients can feel that they are getting a good level of care from their local surgery. That said, there are lots of things which can make a difference to the results, including the size of the practice and the age of the patients. I suspect many of the Norfolk practices which have done less well are simply less diligent at recording everything on the computer.”

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