New service for GP payments to launch

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New service for GP payments to launch

 An improved service for calculating payments for GP practices across England will go live nationally this week after successful early adopter testing in four areas.

The Calculating Quality Reporting Service (CQRS) will replace the existing QMAS system for the 2013/14 financial year and will go live on Thursday 27 June. CQRS will assess GP practice achievement against the Quality & Outcomes Framework (QOF) (2), Directed Enhanced Services (3) and other clinical services.

QMAS will continue to operate until the Tuesday 2 July 2013 at 8pm to allow for end-of-year activities for QOF 12/13. Existing data from QMAS has been migrated to CQRS, giving users ongoing access to their QOF reports from previous years. Since 2004, QMAS has provided a national service for calculating payments to GP practices based on their performance against key indicators in the QOF. It has been responsible for calculating nearly £1.2 billion worth of payments per annum.

CQRS training sessions for GP practices and Area Teams (4) opened last month to prepare individuals who currently use QMAS for the switchover to CQRS. Key resources and training is also available online, enabling users to do training at a time that is suitable for them.

CQRS will have some significant advantages over QMAS, including:

  • Reducing the time GP practices spend calculating achievement and payments.
  • The ability to calculate achievement and payments not just for QOF, but also for nationally-commissioned enhanced services such as DESs, services commissioned locally which go beyond the GP contract and services that rely on data from secondary care sources.
  • Availability for greater periods of time, particularly at the beginning of financial years, to allow for timely data submission and earlier measurement of achievement.
  • Greater flexibility to change in line with NHS requirements as the need arises.

Vanessa Young, Practice Manager at the Vine Medical Centre in East Molesey, Surrey, was involved in the development of CQRS. She said: “CQRS will mean that there will be a reduction in the administration that already occurs at the practice as a lot of the calculation process is manual and CQRS will help to reduce the need for that. I think the biggest challenge is to ensure that practice managers know that CQRS is not a like-for-like replacement of QMAS and that the service will do a lot more.”

CQRS obtains data for Quality Services such as QOF and DESs from general practice clinical systems using General Practice Extraction Service (GPES), which has also been developed by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).

Beverley Bryant, Director of Strategic Systems and Technology, NHS England said: “I’m delighted that this critical new service has been delivered in to live.  Credit must be given to the HSCIC for delivering CQRS under challenging circumstances.  Feedback from the pilot sites has been particularly positive and we look forward to CQRS playing an integral part of the end to end service to support commissioners and service providers across the NHS.”

Information on the online CQRS training, which is still available, can be found here:

Practices can still register for email updates about CQRS at:

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