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Government targets are distorting patient-doctor relationships

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 19 November 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a2636
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1London

    The system that pays GPs for meeting clinical targets should be “downsized and downscaled” to preserve the relationship between doctors and patients, an independent think tank has concluded.

    Civitas says in a new report that the quality and outcomes framework (QOF), the performance related scheme that pays general practices for meeting targets, is undermining patients’ trust in their GPs and the professional integrity that patients expect of them. This is because it offers financial incentives that can distract GPs from providing all round, high quality personalised care.

    The framework, which was introduced as part of the new GP contract in 2004 as a means to improve clinical care by linking payments to targets, makes up to a third of …

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