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Fines for breaching NHS performance targets are “counterproductive”

BMJ 2016; 352 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i1844 (Published 31 March 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;352:i1844
  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. The BMJ

Around £600m (€760m; $860m) of funding will be withheld from NHS hospitals and other healthcare providers this financial year (2015-16) because of fines imposed for breaching key performance targets, a new analysis has shown.

NHS Providers, the body representing NHS hospitals that conducted the analysis for the Guardian newspaper,1 said that the fines imposed by NHS clinical commissioning groups were counterproductive, risking driving the trusts into further deficit and delaying patient care.

The group said that the penalties for breaching waiting time and treatment targets had increased the NHS providers’ financial risk at a time of …

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