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Showing posts from May, 2012

Quality - at what cost?

We have heard much about the Health Act and how it will lead to increased competition within the NHS (and therefore increased cost) and also open up the NHS to private providers in a big way, meaning the lawyers and accountants will have a field day making money from negotiating market-driven NHS contracts. Something very sinister remains at the centre of the Act. Something that could seriously undermine, or even destroy, the doctor patient relationship. It is called the ‘quality premium'. This concept is all around paying clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) a ‘bonus' if they find themselves with a surplus on their budget at year end and they have met certain ‘targets'. In fact here is the exact DH quote on what the quality premium will be for: ‘We will ensure that commissioning groups receive a quality premium only where they can demonstrate good performance in terms of quality of patient care and reduced inequalities in healthcare outcomes.' Now that sounds OK if y…