GMC must investigate rationing and quality premium, says GPC

Proposed quality premium payments for commissioning groups and rationing of NHS care are 'appallingly unethical' and should be investigated by the GMC, GP leaders have said.

GMC: urged to investigate rationing and quality premium
GMC: urged to investigate rationing and quality premium

GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman said the committee had written to the GMC asking it to investigate ‘incentive schemes’, warning that PCTs and clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) were still pressing ahead with them despite repeated warnings from the BMA.

Dr Buckman said the GPC’s letter to the GMC includes its concerns about the government’s plans to introduce the quality premium in England under the health reforms.

This comes after DH commissioning development lead Dame Barbara Hakin revealed that the quality premium could be worth up to £30,000 for the average practice.

Dr Buckman said: ‘Taking money from patient care and pocketing it for reducing something you do for patients by a fixed percentage or number is wrong.

‘We have said that repeatedly. We don’t think it is a good idea to tell doctors that if you reduce your referrals by 10% you will receive a payment.

‘We said we think that is wrong and PCTs and shadow CCGs are continuing to do this. Although you might be mindful of expenses, you should not be chopping an arbitrary piece of patient service and then taking money which you are allowed to keep. There are lots of reasons why that is bad including the fact that patients will not trust you because they will think that everything you do will be dependent on making a profit out of it, from them.

‘We think this is appallingly unethical.’

Dr Buckman said that the GPC had not yet received a response from the GMC.

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