- —Emergency bed days per 1,000 patients
- —Admissions for ambulatory case sensitive conditions per 1,000 patients
- —Proportion of all deaths that occur at home
- —GP referrals per 1,000 patients
- —Rates of admission for alcohol related harm per 1,000 patients
The above so called 'vital signs' are being incentivised by PCTs so that GPs will be paid for referring fewer patients to hospital for life threatening emergencies and for elective conditions and for letting more patients die at home. Now call me old fashioned, but GPs should be be trying to keep patients at home who want to die at home anyway, and GPs do not deliberately try to send people into hospitals unless they think their condition merits it on clinical grounds.
Incentivising such 'vital signs' is not just unethical, it is downright sick and PCTs appear to be deliberately encouraging doctors to break GMC guidance which states:
"You must act in your patients’ best interests when making referrals and when providing or arranging treatment or care. You must not ask for or accept any inducement, gift or hospitality which may affect or be seen to affect the way you prescribe for, treat or refer patients. You must not offer such inducements to colleagues."
I hope that whoever is making these reckless decision is held to account, if ever there was an example of how the government's hair brained management of the health service had resulted in clinical need being ignored because of the stupid whims of bean counters, then this is it. Just think how many uneducated and ignorant bean counters are being paid to come up with ridiculous schemes like this. How about the government just got rid of this bean counting culture and culled the ridiculous multilayer system of bureaucracy that stifles the professionals on the front line? Just think how much money Harold Shipman would have made from this new scheme, he'd be the PCT's favourite GP.