Prescribing schemes hit by red tape

Practices may avoid prescribing incentive schemes because revised DoH guidance could make them too bureaucratic, GP leaders have warned.

Dr Grewal: scheme is ‘insulting’ (Photograph: Nathan Clarke)
Dr Grewal: scheme is ‘insulting’ (Photograph: Nathan Clarke)

Guidance for PCTs released last week outlines that any payments from the schemes must be used for the benefit of patients, and practices should keep written records of expenditure for audit purposes.

Strategies to achieve cost-effective prescribing also makes clear that payments from a prescribing incentive scheme should go into practice funds and not to individuals.

But GP leaders have called the guidelines 'insulting'. Dr Bill Beeby, chairman of the GPC prescribing subcommittee, said asking GPs for a paper trail of how payments are used could put GPs off from signing up to the schemes.

'If it's only a small amount of money, practices might be dismissive of the scheme if the burden of documentation is quite onerous,' he said.

'It could have the effect of reducing participation.'

Meanwhile, Dr Tony Grewal, medical director of Londonwide LMCs, called the DoH guidance that GPs should use payments for patient benefit 'insulting'. He said as small businesses, GPs have always been able to balance payments for patient, practice and personal benefit. He said: 'It's a nonsensical thing to say because GPs always make that balance.'

Previous investigations by GP have shown around one-third of PCTs run prescribing incentive schemes.

Dr Grewal urged GPs to ask for details of the written records PCTs will require from them before signing up to future prescribing schemes.

'If you are going to do these schemes, do it well and make sure you know what the requirements are before you start,' he said.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Almost 4,000 GPs rejoin GMC register as COVID-19 deaths surge

Almost 4,000 GPs rejoin GMC register as COVID-19 deaths surge

Around 3,800 GPs have rejoined the medical register barely a week after the government...

Prime minister Boris Johnson and health secretary Matt Hancock infected with COVID-19

Prime minister Boris Johnson and health secretary Matt Hancock infected with COVID-19

Prime minister Boris Johnson and health and social care secretary Matt Hancock are...

'Lovely' Essex GP feared to be first UK doctor to die from COVID-19

'Lovely' Essex GP feared to be first UK doctor to die from COVID-19

An Essex GP is feared to have become the first UK doctor to die after being infected...

How PCNs are adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic

How PCNs are adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic

Primary care networks (PCNs) are hosting virtual training sessions and re-writing...

Guidance updated for pregnant healthcare staff in coronavirus outbreak

Guidance updated for pregnant healthcare staff in coronavirus outbreak

All GPs who are pregnant should have the choice to stop work in patient-facing roles...

More than 550 GPs sign up within 24 hours to support NHS111

More than 550 GPs sign up within 24 hours to support NHS111

More than 550 GPs have signed up within 24 hours to take calls for NHS 111 as the...