Quality premium removed from Health Bill

Proposals to hand commissioning groups 'quality premium' incentives have been removed from the Health Bill, the NHS chief executive has said.

It follows news this week that the DoH has tightened the rules around the quality premium, after the BMA rejected the plans, warning that the payments could offer a perverse incentive to reduce patient care.

Speaking at a commissioning event in London, David Nicholson said it was important to get the quality premium right. He said clinical commissioning groups must be awarded financial incentives for the right outcomes.

Mr Nicholson added that he was keen to avoid a situation where the public think that the money is going 'directly into the pockets of individuals'.

He said: 'Clearly there is a lot to discuss in all of that. But I think it is something we can work through together, that we can make sense of if we take it out of the Bill directly.

'It gives us the opportunity to think it through in a bit more detail and get something that we can all live with that links to values and principles of the service that are really important to us.’

Mr Nicholson also said there is a commitment to ensure the commissioning outcomes framework is ‘sensible and real’ and something patients will ‘recognise and understand’.

He said: ‘We are launching a consultation with people about this because we have some time to get it right.’

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