Plans in the United Kingdom by health commissioning groups to offer substantial financial rewards to GPs to reduce the number of patients they refer to hospitals have been attacked as “preposterous and unethical” by the professional body which represents family doctors. An incentive system planned by clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), the NHS bodies responsible for planning and commissioning local healthcare, has begun offering commercial “incentives” worth thousands of pounds to GP practices in England and Wales.
In north-east Lincolnshire financial incentive payments were estimated to be more than £6,000 for some GP practices. Bolton’s CCG insisted it had a quality standard which aimed to ensure “patients received the right treatment at the right time”. The Department of Health is yet to comment.