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'Ditch Payment by Results for primary care proposal'

The NHS Alliance is urging ministers to ditch proposals to extend the Payment by Results tariff into primary care.

It warned the move would seriously hamper the shift of care from hospitals into the community and discourage redesign of NHS services.

Payment by Results only applies to services commissioned from hospitals, but the department's Commissioning Framework, published in July, included proposals to extend it to GPs and other primary care providers from 2008.

The NHS Alliance said this could lead to 'the ludicrous spectacle of the same services being priced differently even within the same PCT area, because the tariff will not affect previously transferred services in the same way'.

Michael Sobanja, NHS Alliance chief executive, said: 'It would be expensive nonsense to apply the tariff to services that have been shifted into primary care at the same rate as for secondary care. It would inflate costs without providing any benefit to patient or taxpayer.'

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