£55 bonus for diagnosing dementia

Published on Wednesday, 22 October 2014 10:01
Written by Vicki Mitchem

GPs will be paid £55 every time they diagnose a patient with Dementia under a new scheme from NHS England.

Money is already offered to GPs when they diagnose high cholesterol, diabetes and raised blood pressure. As with all these schemes, the money would be paid to the practice, not the individual doctor.

The monetary incentive was announced by NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens at the RCGP annual conference and is part of NHS England's commitment to diagnose two thirds of people with Dementia by next year however progress has been slower than expected and current estimates say half of people with the condition remain undiagnosed.

NHS England said GPs were 'critical' to increasing the numbers diagnosed and "we need to ensure they have the resources and support to get the job done".

The scheme has been called unnecessary by Patients Association. Chief executive Katherine Murphy said: "Good GPs will be diagnosing their dementia patients already. This seems to be rewarding poor GPs.

"There is an issue of people presenting late with dementia to doctors, but this is not the right way to go about tackling that. If people were given hope that something could be done, that would be the greatest incentive for coming early."

Dr Richard Vautrey, deputy chair of the BMA's GPs committee said: "Practices will have to make their minds up as to how they will approach it and I'm sure they will have lots of issues with it. It's just until the end of the year, to see whether this particular scheme makes any difference to the variation in diagnosis rates."

He echoed Ms Murphy's statement, saying the BMA believed the problem with dementia was not about diagnosis, but about providing patients with the condition with enough support.

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