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Tariff is still not working properly

The Payment by Results tariff creates 'perverse incentives' and is still not working correctly, the Health Secretary admits.

Patricia Hewitt told the NHS Alliance conference the Department of Health had been aware of the problems when it made the commitment to the tariff for hospital procedures.

She said: 'My view is now that the real benefit of Payment by Results is it enables everybody in the NHS to understand the costs as well as the benefits of what they are doing.'

The Health Secretary's comments came after Dr Clare Highton, a GP in east London, and City and Hackney PCT PEC chair, said Payment by Results had disrupted previously good primary care/secondary care relationships as hospitals drove up activity to plug deficits.

'It's a shame you didn't go for a QOF for hospitals,' she said.

Mrs Hewitt said the department hoped to focus the tariff more on outcomes and best practice in the future.

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