NICE Indicators Programme

Joint committee for developing indicators that will support high standards of care

In January 2015, we announced our decision to streamline two of our committees which focus on improving the quality of care provided by family doctors, and supporting the NHS in commissioning better quality healthcare.

The single new NICE Indicator Advisory Committee replaces two separate committees:

  • the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) Advisory Committee
  • the Clinical Commissioning Group Outcome Indicator Set (CCG OIS) Advisory Committee.

The QOF is an incentive scheme for GP practices in the UK, rewarding them for how well they care for patients, while the CCG OIS aims to improve the quality of commissioning and patient care.

The establishment of this single committee recognises the need for NICE indicators to reflect the increasing need for better integration between service commissioning and care provision.

The new single core committee is made up of GPs, hospital clinicians, lay members, and a range of experts representing nursing, pharmacy, public health, social care and other areas.

The committee may draw on additional expertise depending on the topic under discussion. This means it can ensure there is an appropriate level of input from GPs and other colleagues working in primary care for discussions that focus on QOF indicators.

Building on NICE’s track record in developing high quality indicators, the new Indicator Advisory Committee will be asked to consider indicators for a range of applications including the QOF and CCG OIS frameworks. In addition to developing indicators for the QOF and CCG OIS, the NICE team is working with colleagues from the health departments within each of the four countries in the United Kingdom to consider how indicators can be used for quality improvement across healthcare and potentially social care settings. The new Indicator Advisory Committee will play a key role in supporting NICE as the Indicator programme evolves.

The first meeting of the new Indicator Advisory Committee is in June 2015 and will be chaired by Professor Danny Keenan, who previously chaired the CCGOIS committee for the last three years.

Professor Keenan said: “A single Advisory Committee with commissioning and provider representation from across primary and secondary care, public health and social care, will be well placed to develop indicators that reflect how services are being commissioned and provided.

“I look forward to working with the new committee to produce indicators that will continue to help set high standards of care and commissioning, and improve the care that all clinicians provide for their patients.”

Setting high standards of care for patients

Since 2009, NICE has been involved in managing the process for developing indicators that are suitable for inclusion within the QOF, following calls for a more independent and transparent process for reviewing and developing indicators.

This is done by producing a ‘menu’ of QOF indicators. NHS England and the devolved administrations of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales use the NICE QOF menu to help decide which indicators are included in the QOF within their countries.

The final decision regarding which indicators should be added to and taken out of the QOF is decided through negotiations. In England, NHS Employers on behalf of NHS England, and the General Practitioners Committee on behalf of the British Medical Association decide which indicators are included within the QOF. Separate but similar negotiation processes are carried out within Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. NICE and the QOF Advisory Committee are not involved in these negotiations.

In January 2015, we launched a consultation on potential indicators for the 2016/17 QOF as well as the CCG OIS.

  • The proposed QOF indicators cover a range of health priorities such as carrying out cardiovascular disease risk assessments with all people who have a severe mental illness and improving access to psychological therapies for people with a diagnosis of anxiety or depression. There were also potential indicators that focus on people who live in care homes or who are housebound.
  • The proposed CCG OIS indicators also cover a range of health priorities including anxiety disorders, surgical site infections neonatal jaundice and obesity.

The indicators which are part of this consultation are not the final indicators; the new Indicator Advisory Committee will consider results of the piloting / testing and consultation feedback in June 2015 before recommending which of these potential indicators should be included in the NICE QOF and CCG OIS menus which will be published in August 2015.

NICE indicators that have been adopted into both the QOF and CCG OIS are directly impacting on care provided to people. In the past year a number of the indicators developed by NICE and adopted into the CCG OIS now have data available showing variation in the provision of care and outcomes for patients across all CCGs. This data is published on a quarterly basis by the HSCIC.