As readers will know, the NHS Commissioning Board (NHSCB), supported by NICE is developing a COF which is intended to measure "the health outcomes and quality of care (including patient reported outcome measures and patient experience) achieved by clinical commissioning groups (CCG)." The framework will be used to assess and reward the performance of CCGs.

NICE has now published its first set of COF indicators, these are aimed at improving the quality of healthcare provided at a local level. From April 2013, it will be used to measure the quality and outcomes of healthcare commissioned by CCGs. The NHS Commissioning Board will work with the clinical commissioning groups and other stakeholders to consider these recommendations and develop the Framework.  

Indicators covering the following categories are included in the first release: cardiovascular; gastrointestinal; respiratory; endocrine, nutritional and metabolic; maternity and reproductive; mental health; cancer and tumours; and other/cross-cutting issues. Interestingly, there is no mention of key cancer survival indicators - this means commissioners will lack strong incentives to improve cancer survival rates.