Letters; calls and emails: We were penalised for our efficiency

Dear Editor,

We were informed in January that we had performed too many minor surgery procedures and that we were going to have money deducted from our global sum for offering too efficient a service. 

We had agreed with the PCT a payment-for-activity agreement when the system changed but, as is now usual at PCTs, the manager who made the agreement has jumped ship. 

We have always been low referrers to secondary care because as a rural practice we were very aware that patients did not want to travel 13 miles into the city for treatment. We have saved the PCT a fortune by performing all our own joint injections, excisions, aspirations and we also offer cervical cautery and pipelles.

We have had to stop performing minor surgery or continue without payment and, under advisement from the LMC, have started to refer to secondary care. What a waste of money. Once this was brought to the PCT’s attention, we were invited to write in and request continuation of the funding. Yet another waste of time, admin and money.

Needless to say common sense has prevailed but we feel that some of the cuts are short sighted and also discriminatory — refusal to pay for vasectomy but continuation of female sterilisation, for example.

But at least the fat cats can have their bonuses, and sod the little people.

Name and address supplied

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