Our commissioning group has just been given data relating to its out-of-hours contacts, emergency admissions and total practice treatment costs.
It appears that some of the practices most overspent on drug budgets have patients least likely to use out-of-hours services or A&E. Furthermore some of them are the most underspent when the overall practice treatment budget is viewed.
The converse appears to be true of some of the prescribing budget underspenders.
If this trend is found more widely it raises serious concerns regarding the effects of prescribing incentive schemes.
Dr Robert Blundell, Hawkhurst, Kent.