GPs talked to fewer patients about alcohol after incentive scheme ended, study findsBMJ 2019; 367 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l5920 (Published 10 October 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;367:l5920
- Elisabeth Mahase
- The BMJ
GPs gave fewer patients advice on alcohol after practices stopped being paid through an alcohol directed enhanced service (DES) scheme and were expected to do the work through their normal contract, researchers have said.1
The researchers, from the Universities of Newcastle and Sheffield and University College London, compared how many patients were screened for alcohol use and given advice on consumption before the alcohol DES was introduced (2006-08), during (2008-15), and after it was withdrawn (2015-16).
They found that after the DES was withdrawn, the percentage of patients recorded as receiving advice immediately dropped and continued to do so until the study end.
But there were a number of other factors which could have influenced the findings, including changes to government policy and clinical guidance.
The alcohol DES was introduced in 2008 …