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Independents' Day

‘Inadequate’ practice’s patients given £70k to get health checked

A CCG is paying tens of thousands of pounds for patients to get their health checked after their single-handed GP practice was rated inadequate by the CQC.

NHS Telford and Wrekin CCG took the decision to offer £20 health checks to all of the Hadley Health Centre’s 3,500 patients - potentially adding up to £71,000 - ’to ensure they are getting the care they need’.

NHS England, which was also involved in the decision, said it was not aware of any other instance of patients offered blanket health checks resulting from CQC concerns.

The CCG said patients could have the health check at the practice, based in Telford in Shropshire, or the funding would follow them should they opt to register at another GP practice.

To avoid confusion, the CCG clarified that it was a general check up on patients’ health rather than the NHS Health Checks programme for detecting cardiovascular disease, which the practice in question has been offering.

The CQC report, published in September, said that safety and leadership at the Hadley Health Centre was ‘inadequate’ and inspectors concluded that the practice should be placed in special measures.

It is due for reinspection in six months’ time but the CCG said it has since approved a proposed plan for it to merge with a nearby practice.

A CCG spokesperson said: ‘In response to the concerns raised by the CQC, the CCG took the decision, alongside NHS England, to offer each patient at the practice a robust health check to ensure they are getting the care they need now and in the future.

‘Where patients make the decision to move to another practice, the funding we have allocated for those health checks will follow them on to any new practice.’

The GP practice was approached by Pulse but declined to comment.

Readers' comments (9)

  • Sensible decision.if it encourages people to get the check up..if something has been missed by the practice all hell will break lose......but taking the twenty quid to another does that work.surely this is privatisation of a service then?
    what could other users of the nhs get for £20?

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  • Russell Thorpe

    Does this include people who havent attended the practice recently?

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  • There are too many practices like that. Some are shut, some are put on special measures and some are allowed to continue being unsafe, if they have connections. The whole thing stinks.

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  • Dear All,
    Not withstanding the obvious comments about health checks for £20; this is an important new step. "Inadequacy" may reflect historic underinvestment in the practice not necessarily any problem from within the practice. Funding flowing where it is needed is to be welcomed.
    Paul C

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  • re Paul Cundy's comment - Paul, I hear what you are saying, but isn't there a hidden danger that we would reward poor quality by throwing money at it, whilst refusing to reward those who produce higher quality but perhaps at great cost to themselves, their families and their work-life balance? (And yes, I am well aware of the problems of post-code underfunding of individual practices and CCGs, which to my mind is a completely separate issue.)

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  • Why does the NHS repeatedly chuck money at a problem after it's happened?

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  • Vinci Ho

    I think it is a question of how the money will be spent to help the practice involved . Primary care being underfunded is a fact : whatever way to attract more funding should be welcome . But then again , if this is one single payment , there will be no quick fix....

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  • This is not actually new. For those of you who can remember the "old" new contract in the 1990's, GPs were given money specifically for new patient registration health checks. If one then also said they were health promotion, one got £45 per six checks as well. Oh for the good ol` days :)

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  • If that £20 per patient was available - why was it not invested in the "failing" practice to improve, No GP in my experience sets out to give a poor service to patients but the squeeze on money coming into primary care is challenging for many practices and eventually they fail - Easy to kick a dog when down and let others pick over the bones.

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