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At the heart of general practice since 1960

GP 'scorecards' push

A 'tick-box' system for evaluating GP performance should be set up nationally to smooth out regional variations in how GPs are assessed, the RCGP has claimed.

An increasing number of PCTs are taking up the controversial 'balanced scorecard' approach, developed by Tower Hamlets PCT, despite resistance from GPs.

But the RCGP believes it would be better to agree on a national scorecard approach, to prevent different PCTs doing their own thing.

Professor Mayur Lakhani, RCGP chair, told Pulse: 'It would be better to have a consistent, nationally agreed, evidence-based framework to work with.'

PCTs in London have taken up the system and adapted it to their own needs, but West Midlands strategic health authority is attempting to implement a regionally coherent toolkit across all its PCTs.

A spokesperson said this would be in line with local priorities and incorporate data from the quality and outcomes framework, contract monitoring and prescribing.

But GPs have strongly criticised the scorecard approach, which grades GPs on a series of targets, some of which do not fall under their responsibility, such as increased opening hours and supply of clinical staff and other services.

Dr Grant Ingrams, West

Midlands LMC secretary, said: 'Balanced scorecards are a barmy idea. This tick-box chart should be used to performance-manage the PCTs, not GPs.'

pulse@cmpmedica.com

Balanced scorecards: state of play

Set up

• Tower Hamlets PCT

• Newham PCT

• City and Hackney PCT

• Islington PCT

• Hammersmith and Fulham PCT

• Lambeth and

Southwark PCT

• Halton and St Helens PCT

In development

• Berkshire East PCT

• Derby City PCT

• Haringey Teaching PCT

• All West Midlands PCTs

Considering

• Bromley PCT

• Greater and Central Derby PCT

• South Birmingham PCT

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