Unfortunately I haven’t posted for a while, as I have been quite ill, but during this time something I was previously unaware of has come to light. I sign and post a lot of petitions, as you know, but this is the first time I have felt so strongly about something I have felt the need to start my own petition. Please read and sign the petition if you are in the UK, and share it widely. Thank you in advance for your support.
Most people are completely unaware that their GP will receive financial rewards for meeting targets of diagnosing certain conditions – a bonus of £160.15 in 2015/16. While rewarding GP practices for doing a good job and helping patients is of course a good thing, rewarding them financially to diagnose and treat certain conditions over others is wrong.
The official text of this scheme is : The Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) is the annual reward and incentive programme detailing GP practice achievement results. It rewards practices for the provision of quality care and helps standardise improvement in the delivery of primary medical services (source: http://www.hscic.gov.uk/qof).
Each diagnosis gains a point, and in 2015/2016 thats worth £160.15 in England (source: www.nhsemployers.org/your-workforce/primary-care-contacts/general-medical-services/quality-and-outcomes-framework). This system needs to be investigated, reviewed and overhauled to offer better care to patients, instead of financial rewards to GP’s for only diagnosing certain conditions.
I have spoken to many people who have seen their GP with serious medical conditions, only to be told they are depressed or overweight – both of these conditions merits the above award – and offered anti-depressants or a referral to a dietician. Offering anti-depressants to someone who is not depressed is dangerous in itself, but labelling someone as depressed instead of treating their serious illness is tantamount to neglect, and could cost lives.
This system is seriously flawed, and needs to be reviewed urgently. Since I launched the above petition, I have had many emails about other NHS financial reward schemes, with bonuses ranging from tens of pounds to thousands of pounds. I have submitted a Freedom of Information Act to the Department for Health asking for information on any and all financial reward schemes – I will post the information here when I receive it.
People in the UK pay taxes their whole life towards the NHS, and when they turn to it in need of medical help they shouldnt be worried that the medical professionals aren’t acting in their best interests.
Please visit the petition website at https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/116543 and sign, if you are in the UK, and share it on your social networks.