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an investigation carried out by the doctors magazine “Pulse” it was discovered
that in at least nine Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) individual GP
practices were being paid bonuses to reduce the number of patient referrals to
hospitals for appointments which could include scans and consultations with
one case in the Midlands, GP practices were offered more than £11,000 to reduce new out-patient attendances, follow
ups, A and E attendances and Emergency Admissions by 1% compared with 2014-5.
Chairman of the GPs Committee of the BMA told the BBC “such schemes were a
financial contaminant to patient-doctor trust which was short sighted and
November 2014 the NHS Advisory Board said GPs in England should nearly double
the number of patients referred to hospital for cancer tests as delays in
spotting symptoms could be costing thousands of lives each year.
Rosie Loftus of Macmillan Cancer Support described the findings as “very
worrying” and Dr Robert Morley, Chairman
of the GPs Contracts and Regulations Committee said that schemes incentivising
Practices to reduce urgent cancer referrals were “extremely concerning”
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