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Use of patient survey to award funds to practices sparks controversy

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b2675 (Published 01 July 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b2675
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1London

    Claims that the results of a national survey of patients may result in many general practices losing tens of thousands of pounds in funding were dismissed this week by a Cambridge academic who defended the survey, saying that it would improve services for patients.

    The survey, now in its third year, has angered the BMA because its design fails to take into account the number of people who respond. For the first time this year, funding to practices will be allocated according to the number of positive responses to two questions about access to appointments, even if only a handful of patients respond.

    The BMA has criticised the survey for being “fundamentally flawed” and too long for many people to bother with. It has warned that general practices stand to lose tens of thousands of pounds in funding, which could adversely affect services for patients.

    However, Martin Roland, professor of health services research at Cambridge University and an adviser to Ipsos-MORI, which conducted the survey, says that the number of practices that stand to lose funding “will be very small.”

    Professor Roland expressed surprise that the BMA …

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