This site is intended for health professionals only

GP funding to reduce unplanned admissions withdrawn after targets missed

CCG leaders have prematurely halted a local QIPP scheme for GPs to reduce unplanned admissions, after it failed to achieve its targets.

The scheme was commissioned for the whole of 2013/14 by NHS Basildon and Brentwood CCG, with a target to reduce unplanned admissions to save £550,000. However, seven months into the scheme, in November, it was found to be 32% short of its target.

The scheme, which was rolled out as part of the CCG’s QIPP plan, had been intended to run until 31 March, but Pulse has learnt it ceased on 31 December, with one quarter of the funding withdrawn.

The scheme had focused on the creation of clinical pathways and practice-to-practice support to reduce admissions to hospital, and aimed to ensure the CCG could achieve its targets for its quality premium.

CCGs have a quarter of their quality premium tied to reducing avoidable emergency admissions, a larger proportion than any other area.

In a letter announcing the cessation, the CCG wrote: ‘At the clinical executive group on 28 November it was agreed that the QP+ scheme would be stopped with effect from 31 December 2013 because of how far from target the current achievement is.’

‘As you’ll know the QP+ scheme comprised of two parts, the facilitation fund and the achievement fund… The facilitation fund was to pay for the development of a clinical pathway and actual activities practices undertook in support of QP+ as set out in each of the locality plans. As the scheme will cease on 31 December and has run for nine months of the year, the available fund will therefore be reduced by one quarter.’

Local LMC representatives said they were not well-informed enough to comment but were ‘not surprised’ the scheme had been canned.

The cancelled scheme comes as GPs across England prepare to undertake a similar DES to reduce unplanned admissions from April, even though experts have questioned whether the new DES will achieve its aims.

But GPC deputy chair Dr Richard Vautrey said that the DES had ‘learned some lessons’ from previous failed schemes in the past.

He said: ‘None of us are under any illussion that [the new DES] will be the only thing that will impact on reducing unplanned admissions. This is a complex picture and general practice only has one part to play.’