GPs offered bonuses to cut hospital referrals

GPs offered bonuses to cut hospital referrals

An investigation has revealed that doctors have been offered thousands of pounds in bonuses to reduce the amount of patients being referred to hospital.

A report published by ITV News has stated that GPs are being paid up to £11,000 to stay within targets for outpatient referrals ad follow-ups. This can include cancer referrals and emergency admissions.

The scheme has obviously caused great outrage and concern with critics calling it ‘highly unethical’.

ITV News have said: ‘It goes against the General Medical Council’s guidance that doctor’s must not accept any “inducement, gift or hospitality”. The ‘bonus’ is also at odds with the recently announced NHS cancer strategy – which promised an 80% increase in tests for cancers.’

The Pulse magazine found nine Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) – a group of GPs who work together to shape local health services in England – were being offered incentives to cut referrals. The investigation comes as the NHS tries to save £22 billion by 2020.

CLICK HERE to read the full article on the ITV News site.

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