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My new QOF message to punters: Start Smoking

Copperfield has a cunning plan to make the best of the Department of Health's plan to base more of GPs' earnings on outcomes.

Copperfield has a cunning plan to make the best of the Department of Health's plan to base more of GPs' earnings on outcomes.

Regular readers will know that I reflexly resist the growing trend to make us GPs default public health doctors. After all, I entered the profession to cure people armed only with a beautiful bedside smile and an ear syringe, not to harangue them for their dodgy lifestyles and force feed them statins.

My approach may soften, though, now I've read this analysis of the Government's latest bright idea – paying us according to outcomes.



So all the dosh is going to switch from process to outcomes – in other words I'll get paid for actually getting smokers to stop, rather than for ticking a box when I've ticked them off. In which case, I might need to act completely out of character by being clever, diligent and proactive.

Which means I shall have to start encouraging the punters to start smoking. That way, I'll have plenty of health/wealth promotion opportunities when the new regime kicks in. After all, I've spent so many years pushing the anti-smoking message that all I'm left with are the intractable nicotine junkies.

Plus I'll need to box clever: at £50 per success, it'll probably be worth coming to an arrangement with the punters. They agree to sign up to say they've quit, I get the QOF points, and we split the cash.

That's £25 in the Keep Copperfield Loaded fund and enough cash to keep the patients in Capstan Full Strength heaven for a few days.

A flaw in my scheme? I've got to prove they've stopped with a carbon monoxide test? That's nothing some flat batteries won't sort out.

So I agree with the view that, currently, there's little evidence that GPs are gaming. Push us hard enough, though, and self righteous protests of innocence will just be a smokescreen. That's an outcome I'd guarantee.

I've spent so many years pushing the anti-smoking message that all I'm left with are the intractable nicotine junkies. Smoking Copperfield blog Recent posts

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