Pay to be linked to 'satisfaction'

GPs will not be forced to take on out-of-hours responsibilities again, but their pay will be 'more and more' linked to patient satisfaction, the DoH says.

At the Labour party conference last week health minister Ben Bradshaw told GP that the DoH was discussing models to improve the current position of out-of-hours care.

But asked if that meant rewriting the GMS contract, he replied: 'No, that would be going too far.'

Meanwhile, he told a fringe meeting at the conference that future policies would focus on 'how we make the health service more personal, more centred around individual needs'.

He said this would involve 'moving the system of financial rewards more and more to the providers that patients say they like'.

By way of example he cited the Payment By Results mechanism used in secondary care, and rewarding GPs 'in terms of the feedback we get'.

Mr Bradshaw's comments follow last July's suggestion by Lord Darzi that measures of patient experience should be included in the quality framework.

He told the Health Select Committee that these could take the form of patient satisfaction surveys, or Patient Reported Outcome Measures.

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