Bedfordshire CCG invests in community healthcare

 A new scheme developed by Bedfordshire CCG will use £1.5m to drive improvements in primary care, with the aim of reducing secondary care costs.

GP practices will receive a premium of up to £20,000 for achieving targets such as reducing emergency admissions and providing alternatives to outpatient clinics.

The General Practice Quality and Productivity Scheme is part of a drive by the CCG to save £9m by treating less acute conditions in the community and keeping patients out of hospital.

The money saved will be reinvested in GP practices and other community-based services in the region.

The scheme will award points for achievement of a number of indicators, including: providing safe alternatives to hospital outpatient appointments; reducing avoidable emergency admissions; offering patients a choice of providers when referring; and improving measurable patient experience.

The indicators will trigger additional investment in the GP practice of up to £20,000 in 2013.

Dr Paul Hassan (pictured), Chair of BCCG, said: “If we are to deliver more and better care closer to home, there has to be planned investment in primary medical services.

“This scheme will invest in GP practices that think and work innovatively to offer safe, high-quality alternatives to hospital care.

“Reducing our reliance on hospitals for less serious illnesses and injuries will free up hospitals to concentrate on what they do best.”