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Training registration open for new service that will support QOF payments in 2013/14

Registration is now well underway for the first phase of training for the Calculating Quality Reporting Service (CQRS). (Published: 14 February 2013)

This new service, along with the General Practice Extraction Service (GPES), will replace QMAS (Quality Management and Analysis System) for calculating achievement and payments for quality outcome-related services for GP practices from 2013/14, including the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF). The training will be delivered in two phases.

The first phase of CQRS training is aimed at GP practices, NHS Commissioning Board area teams (who will sign off QOF achievement) and clinical commissioning groups (CCGs). It will take place over a three-week period from 25 February and be delivered via interactive webinars. The main aim of the first phase is to introduce users to CQRS and explain how it works.

A second phase will be delivered from the end of April and will ensure users are fully equipped in how to use the service. As well as interactive webinars, there will be an element of face-to-face tutorials for NHS Commissioning Board area teams and CCGs.

For the QOF, CQRS will use data collected from GP IT systems by GPES. Training for GPES will be made available online and GP practice teams can register for GPES news and training updates at www.ic.nhs.uk/gpestraining. GP system suppliers will also be providing a range of support on how to use GPES.

Since 2004, QMAS has provided an effective 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 and will continue to be used for the 2012/13 QOF.

For 2013/14, calculations will be performed by CQRS, a more sophisticated service that can handle not just the QOF, but a variety of other quality measures, including nationally-commissioned enhanced services and services commissioned locally which go beyond the GP contract.

CQRS will also be capable of calculating achievement by CCGs against outcome indicators and quality rewards if required.

"QMAS has worked very well for what it was built to do," says GP Phil Koczan, who chairs the project assurance group for CQRS, which is monitoring and assuring the development of the service.

"With the contract for QMAS expiring, a replacement service was needed and we were keen to take the opportunity to ensure it was better able to support the organisational and commissioning changes underway in the NHS.

"The new service needed to be more flexible and able to respond to change quickly and in a cost-effective way, which CQRS will be able to do," says Phil.

Prospective users in general practice (primarily practice managers) and CCGs are being asked to register online for the training and to familiarise themselves with CQRS and what it offers. Users in the NHS Commissioning Board's Area Teams are being contacted separately.

Practice manager Val Hempsey is a future CQRS user who has been helping to support the development of CQRS as part of an end user working group.

"She says: "Users have been involved at every stage of the service's development. It's shaping up well but looks very different to QMAS and can do a lot more. It's in practices' interests to keep themselves up-to-date on CQRS and to access the training that will be available."

Notes to editors

CQRS users can now register for training at: http://www.connectingforhealth.nhs.uk/systemsandservices/cqrs/training/bookings

For further information on the service visit the CQRS web pages at: http://www.connectingforhealth.nhs.uk/systemsandservices/cqrs

Register for CQRS email updates at: http://www.connectingforhealth.nhs.uk/systemsandservices/cqrs/regforupdates.

QMAS will remain operational until 2 July 2013, 8pm to support end-of-year QOF activities for 2012/13. All submissions to QMAS from GP system suppliers and any manual updates or adjustments will be suspended after this point. It is important the end of year achievement for the QOF is agreed before 2 July, otherwise this will have to be agreed off-system.

Existing data from QMAS will be migrated to CQRS, giving users on-going access to their QOF reports from the previous five years.

CQRS will have a range of benefits. It will:

  • Enable substantial time savings for practices and others through the automation of recording, checking, submitting and approving achievement for the quality services it supports;
  • Be able to calculate achievement and payments for any quality service that follows the data collection and calculating logic in CQRS;
  • Be easier and quicker to change to support national NHS requirements as the need arises;
  • Improve quality by making the services it supports visible, leading to re-use of good practice and improving consistency in the recording of data;
  • Be available for longer periods of time, particularly at the beginning of financial years, to allow for timely data submission and earlier measurement of achievement;
  • Make use of data already extracted from relevant NHS systems to provide the data required for the outcomes indicators, reducing the time required for commissioners to measure the quality and outcomes of services.