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Project #138:
Hypertension and blood pressure in the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF)

  • Type: Service Evaluation
  • Topic areas: Other/indirect impacts of COVID on health/healthcare

General practice has been disrupted by the pandemic in many clinical areas (e.g., Curtis et al., 2021; Williams et al., 2020). We aim to assess the impact of the pandemic on the routine management of blood pressure and hypertension. High blood pressure is one of the leading risk factors for several diseases (e.g., cardiovascular disease, stroke) worldwide. Research suggests that delays in the management of high blood pressure are associated with worse clinical outcomes, for example acute cardiovascular events, or death (Xu et al., 2015).

The Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) outlines several indicators that focus on blood pressure (BP) and hypertension (HYP) targets. We aim to use OpenSAFELY to quantify the extent to which any of the relevant QOF indicators were disrupted during the pandemic but wont link our results to clinical outcomes.

Our expected outputs include: (1) clinical reports will be published at https://reports.opensafely.org/, (2) reusable analytic code and codelists will be available for other researchers to use and modify, and (2) peer-reviewed academic papers discussing our results including actionable suggestions for service improvement within the NHS. Our outputs will be published timely and updated continuously. Further, we aim to supplement the aggregated results available at https://qof.digital.nhs.uk/ with detailed breakdowns of important demographic categories to assess health inequalities.