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Thursday 27th October 2016

Performance pay for hospitals

15th May 2008

Moves to make the NHS more “patient-centred� could see the rate hospitals are paid for treatments being linked to performance.

heart surgery

The rates could be influenced using patient experience to measure the quality of care in what is being seen as a “tweak� to the payment by results funding system.

The plan was outlined by Prime Minister Gordon Brown in his draft version of the Queen’s Speech.

He told the House of Commons: “For the first-time payments to NHS hospitals will be adjusted according to patient satisfaction and health outcomes.�

Mr Brown said there would be an NHS Reform Bill to clear the way toward an NHS constitution and that personal budgets would be introduced to give people with long-term conditions more control over their care.

Payment by results, where NHS trusts are paid for the patients they treat, has been extended to most hospital services although the Audit Commission recently reported that it had not led to the hoped-for improvements in efficiency.

Professor John Appleby, chief economist at the King’s Fund health think-tank, said he was sceptical over plans to change what is an already complicated system.

He added: “You will end up putting primary care trusts in a situation where they have a choice of paying to give fewer patients top quality care or more patients average care. It puts them in a difficult position.�

The BMA said the concept was right while the NHS Confederation said a review of the payment system would help the NHS focus more on patient experience and health outcomes.


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