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David Simpson Partner Coles Miller

Can You Trust Your Doctors If They're Paid To Cut NHS Costs?6th Oct 2015

by David Simpson on 6th Oct 2015

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The headline says it all. There is something deeply disturbing and fundamentally wrong about doctors being paid NOT to refer patients to hospital.

David Simpson Partner Coles MillerBut that is precisely what is happening in Britain right now – in at least nine clinical commissioning groups.

GPs are being paid to help reduce the number of emergency admissions, outpatient attendances, follow-ups, scans and consultations – even for something as serious as cancer.

It beggars belief that clinical commissioners should offer such payments – and disgraceful that any doctors should even consider accepting them.

It is all too obvious what will happen. In some cases, life threatening and other serious conditions will go undiagnosed, be misdiagnosed or diagnosed too late.

All of which will cause patients pain and suffering and could result in some people dying prematurely. GPs will be sued by victims.

Trust in the average family doctor – the frontline of the NHS – will be eroded significantly. It is sadly inevitable.

Particularly in the internet age when people have ready access to masses of online medical advice.

Armed with this knowledge, patients are more likely to question what they are being told by health professionals and more likely to feel the NHS has other concerns besides their well-being.

The British Medical Association has quite rightly said that payments for non-referral of patients are misguided. We agree and applaud the BMA for criticising them.

But the fact remains – these payments are taking place despite BMA objections and we worry about the consequences.

Having read all of the above, do you still trust your doctor? How do you feel now about the last piece of advice they gave you?

Get in touch with Coles Miller if you are worried that you are not receiving the correct medical care. Contact Coles Miller Partner David Simpson, a UK Legal 500 recommended clinical negligence solicitor.

This document is not intended to constitute and should not be used as a substitute for legal advice on any specific matter. No liability for the accuracy of the content of this document, or the consequences of relying on it, is assumed by the author. If you seek further information, please contact Managing Partner Neil Andrews at Coles Miller Solicitors LLP.