§ 82. Mr. Key
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services how he intends to encourage doctors to do more work in health promotion.
§ Mrs. Currie
Our plans are set out in the White Paper "Promoting Better Health" (Cm. 249) published in November 1987. Officials are discussing implementation of the necessary reforms with the family doctors' representatives, the General Medical Services Committee.
As my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State said in his reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Sheffield Hallam (Mr. Patnick) on 12 January at columns 128–30, major changes are to be made in the system of payment to family doctors to encourage them to provide a range of health promotion and preventive activities. We intend to link payment of basic practice allowance to the provision of health promotion and prevention of ill-health. We plan to introduce incentive payments for reaching target levels of population cover for vaccination, immunisation and cancer screening and new payments for arranging and providing regular health promotion sessions for patients. We intend also to pay a fee to a doctor providing an initial clinical assessment for patients registering with the NHS for the first time. We are consulting the doctors' representatives about amending the family doctors' contract with the National Health Service to make health promotion and the prevention of disease including regular health checks a specific part of their terms of service.