Payment by Results (PbR), the funding system for a significant portion of NHS care in England, must adapt and change if it is to improve patient care, says the chairman of the British Medical Association's (BMA) Consultants' Committee, Dr Jonathan Fielden, when responding to the consultation on PbR1, launched today (15 March 2007).
Dr Fielden said: "The BMA will read this consultation very carefully and respond in full. A top priority for doctors is to ensure that PbR benefits patient care. We must learn from international experience how to prevent distortions to clinical care and minimise the additional bureaucracy PbR may bring. The BMA welcomes the recognition that to achieve progress there must be close clinical involvement and engagement in the process. It is also extremely important that the system ensures there is a fair playing field between NHS and private providers.
"This consultation is welcome and the BMA acknowledges that significant changes have already taken place to the PbR system since it came into force in April 2006, largely through the development of a dialogue between clinicians and clinical managers on what works best for patients."