A £5 million scheme to pay doctors for identifying patients with dementia has been condemned as ‘distorted’ by the Patients Association.
The six-month scheme, launched by NHS England, plans to pay GP’s £55 per patient to increase national diagnosis rates of 48%.
Merton currently has a diagnosis rate of 47%, not far below the national average but poor compared to the best performing area Corby which as a rate of 75%.
The controversial new scheme has received mixed reactions since it was announced by NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens and the Patients Association has branded it a ‘distortion of good medical practice’.
Katherine Murphy, Chief Executive of the Patients Association, said: “We know GPs receive incentive payments to find all sorts of conditions, such a high cholesterol, raised blood pressure and diabetes – but this seems a step too far.
“It is putting a bounty on the head of certain patients.”
“This seems a step too far, it is putting a bounty on the head of certain patients.”
Dementia affects more than 800,000 Britons and this is expected to rise to one million by 2025.
However fewer than half the number of people in the UK who are estimated to have the condition have been formally diagnosed and this is evident in Merton.
Data published in the ‘State of the Nation’ report released by the Department of Health showed the low rate of formal diagnosis for people with dementia.
It revealed that the diagnosis rate for the NHS Merton Clinical Commissioning Group area is just 47.03%.
Dementia is a term used to describe symptoms including memory loss, confusion and mood changes and is caused when the brain is damaged by diseases such as Alzheimer’s, which is the most common cause.
Early diagnosis is essential to ensure sufferers can receive the necessary treatment, but identifying the condition can be difficult especially in the initial stages.
The new payment initiative, which is optional, is a bid to identify two thirds of people with dementia by April 2015.
Picture courtesy of Tim Hamilton, with thanks
- Merton health chiefs thaw funding freeze and offer free first round of IVF to couples to ease ‘heartbreak’ of infertility10000Merton couples battling infertility issues are now eligible for a free first round of IVF after health chiefs reversed a funding freeze. A Merton Clinical Commissioning Group said they are ‘delighted’ to be able to reverse the decision made by their predecessor, who suspended funding for IVF for new patients.…
- Fear and loathing in London: Renters risk health and are scared to ask rogue landlords for property repairs due to ‘revenge evictions’10000Londoners fear asking rogue landlords to fix a property problem in case they become victims of revenge evictions, according to new research. Shelter revealed that 11% of renters feared being evicted by a small, but dangerous, minority of property owners in an already crowded housing market. The figures are being…
- World Mental Health Day: ‘Unusable Victorian’ Kingston and Wandsworth mental health wards awarded £160m boost10000Nearly £160m could be spent on improving inpatient mental health services in South West London as a set of consultation evenings begin with two proposals outlined ahead of World Mental Health Day today. The funding will improve the facilities at two sites in Kingston and Wandsworth, turning these ‘Victorian’ and…
- St George’s Hospital in Tooting cites soaring patient numbers as cause of missing A&E January targets40St George’s Hospital claims an increased demand from patients caused its A&E department to miss national targets on waiting times throughout January. In each week of January the hospital failed to meet the target of seeing 95% of accident and emergency admissions within four hours. In a statement St George’s…
- 39Stroke survivors are being helped on the road to recovery with a therapeutic horticultural programme funded by Wandsworth CCG. The 12-week Battersea Park programme is run by charity Thrive and uses gardening to bring positive changes to the lives of people living with disabilities or ill health after a stroke.…