GP and patientHealth commissioners in Leeds have temporarily suspended the majority of targets in the quality and outcomes framework (QOF) to help GPs cope with “unprecedented” winter pressures.

The two-month suspension, announced in a letter to all the city’s practices, was signed by representatives of its three clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and the local medical committee.

Under the Leeds deal, GP practices will be able to opt out of 80% of the 559 ‘clinical points’ in the QOF. Indicators that are excluded include those for influenza targets, cancer and the maintenance of all validated disease registers.

The letter states: “We hope that this flexibility will go some way to recognise the pressure general practice is facing and reduce the time spent on end-of-year bureaucracy.”

Leeds CCGs said in a statement that the relaxation offered “headroom” until the end of March to help practices respond to “urgent care demand”, and was based on a recent decision by NHS Wales.

“The motivation behind this stems from unprecedented demand in the health care system across the city.”