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Buckman blasts ‘appalling’ quality premium

Buckman blasts ‘appalling’ quality premium

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The new 'quality premium' to reward GP consortia in England for finding cost savings was branded "utterly unethical" today (9 June 2011) by the leader of the BMA's GPs' Committee.

Dr Laurence Buckman (pictured) called the performance-related bonus a "particularly unacceptable idea" in the government's Health and Social Care Bill.

In his opening address to the Local Medical Committee's national GP conference in London, Dr Buckman said he had told government the GPC "will not even discuss such an appalling notion".

Dr Buckman said he was supported by the results of a BMA survey in which three-quarters of more than 18,000 GPs polled opposed the quality premium.

"GPs will not take money for reducing care for patients," he said. "This is utterly unethical."

The GPC leader called for ministers to make more concessions to the Health Bill than those indicated earlier this week by the prime minister, due to be announced at the end of the 'listening exercise'.

"Please do not let this exercise just be a respray job to try to persuade us to accept the unacceptable," Dr Buckman said.

Outlining the GPC's demands to government, he insisted: "We want an explicit duty on commissioning consortia to fully involve all relevant clinical staff. We want Monitor's primary duty to be to ensure comprehensive and integrated services rather than to promote competition. And we want a more realistic timetable for the handing over of all responsibilities to all commissioning consortia.

"Above all, we want patients to be reassured that their GP continues to place their needs at the heart of their clinical decisions," he said.

The GPC leader also warned ministers not to confuse support for clinically led commissioning with support for the Health Bill. "Getting into the lifeboats is not the same as supporting the sinking of the Titanic," he said.
 

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