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Nicholson: CQUIN to rise to 5% of hospital income

A greater proportion of hospital income will be tied to national performance targets under plans revealed by the chief executive of the NHS.

Sir David Nicholson, chief executive of the NHS Commissioning Board, told delegates at the NAPC Annual Conference that he wanted to see the proportion of hospital income tied to CQUIN scheme increased from 3% to 5%.

He also told delegates in Birmingham that the CCGs should be given more ‘flexibility’ to performance manage GP practices.

Sir David responded to a question about incentives for hospital trusts by describing how he has ambitions to put more money into CQUIN.

He said: ‘One of the things about CQUIN is that the purpose is to reward the people who do the something exceptional and extra.

‘Over the last two or three years we have increased the amount that goes to CQUIN by about 3%. My own ambition is 4% or 5%.’

CQUIN was introduced in 2009/10, linking a proportion of hospital income to achieving certain quality improvement goals agreed with local commissioners.

Sir David also said that the current way the NHS reforms were working did not take account of the need for CCGs to have a direct influence on GP practices in their area.

He said: ‘It is clear that the balance between national and local is not quite right.

‘How we can move the flexibility to manage primary care in your localities is crucial to how we take that forward in the NHS.’

And he told delegates:  ‘We need to be much more sophisticated in connecting payment to our outcomes.’

Story updated 18:13