Hunt ‘must tighten GP rules’ – The rules have not been broken but they are designed and approved by politicians..

Following their headline “news” yesterday, Chris Smyth, Health Editor and Kat Lay, Health Correspondent have followed up with a more reasonable statement/headline in The Times 12th November 2015: Hunt ‘must tighten GP rules’

The rules have not been broken but they are designed and approved by politicians. Playing to the “rules of the game” is a pragmatic approach to healthcare that I and my own practice have always had. GPs principals are partners in self-employed businesses, and there are no salaries unless they have just begun, or choose to remain out of the administration of the business. GPs, their partners and families are often more aware of deficits in provision and systems, and where there is little profit. large risk, and high overhead it is inevitable that there will be less competition…. The sorry state of perverse incentives was designed by the politicians, and pragmatic GPs cannot be blamed for making provision in a speedy manner under the rules of the game.. Commissioning GPs are still covertly rationing care….

Jeremy Hunt is facing growing pressure to tighten rules on how doctors manage NHS money after The Times revealed that the GP-led groups in charge of budgets had awarded hundreds of contracts to organisations their members owned or worked for.

Labour called for the health secretary to ban doctors from holding the purse strings if they have stakes in companies that bid for contracts. Sarah Wollaston, chairwoman of the health select committee, said NHS England should issue clearer guidance but said there was no need for a “blanket ban”.

An investigation by The Times and the BMJ found that the GP-led clinical commissioning groups that allocate £67 billion of NHS funds gave contracts worth £2.4 billion to companies in which their members had interests.

The payments were within the rules as the doctors declared the interests and complied with local policies, which in some cases involved simply leaving the room while a decision was made.

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath, a Labour frontbencher, said that that practice “just isn’t sufficient”.

GPs award £2.4bn deals to their own companies

Times investigation reveals conflicts of interest where groups responsible for spending NHS funds locally can effectively…

The billion-pound doctors in charge of buying … and bidding for work

Across the country, GPs are awarding lucrative local contracts to their own companies

Thousands of GPs earned £100,000

GPs practising in East Anglia, Surrey and Sussex, Hertfordshire and the South Midlands were the most likely to…

Published at November 11 2015

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This entry was posted in A Personal View, General Practitioners, Perverse Incentives, Rationing, Stories in the Media on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

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