Exclusive: CCGs told how practices should spend £30,000 quality premium

Practices should spend quality premiums, worth up to £30,000 on average, to 'improve patient care and/or health outcomes', the NHS Commissioning Board (NHSCB) has revealed.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul: ‘Our position has been that this money should not be held back for CCGs to earn.'

The NHSCB said on Tuesday that the quality premium, expected to be up to £5 per patient which amounts to £30,000 for the average practice, will be based on three local targets as well as national ones.

But the board has yet to decide exactly how CCGs will use the money. Its spokesman said that the board expects CCGs to have some flexibility to decide how to spend the money.

The NHSCB’s spokesman said: ‘This will be subject to the regulations due to be made early next year, but we anticipate that CCGs will have flexibility to decide how they spend the payment, provided that it is used in ways that improve patient care and/or health outcomes.’

GPC negotiator Dr Chaand Nagpaul said that he expects that in some areas practices will not receive the quality premium directly.

‘This is not a payment for practices’, he said. ‘If practices incur more workload in delivering the CCG’s objectives then they would have to be rewarded.

‘Our position has been that this money should not be held back for CCGs to earn. They are going live with a tight management budget. We don’t want it to be used to offset deficits.’

The quality premium will also be based on CCGs’ performance against four national measures, including preventing unnecessary deaths, avoiding hospital admissions, patient feedback, and care-acquired MRSA and C difficile infections.

The NHSCB said it will publish a methodology to be used for calculating the quality premium, but it has not said when.

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