§ 31. Mr. David Evans
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his Department is doing to reduce the differences in efficiency between different doctors.
§ Mr. Mellor
Value for money in delivering high quality patient services remains a key component of the Government's policies. In the hospital service current initiatives include promoting the wider use of Health Service indicators, the resource management initiative and the development of better methods for medical manpower planning.
With regard to family doctors, the White Paper "Promoting Better Health" proposed a number of important changes which would lead to increased efficiency in general practice including relating pay more closely to performance, more clearly defined terms of service, greater accountability, increased competition and greater involvement of other health professionals in patient care. In particular it is intended to encourage more efficiency and cost-effectiveness among family doctors in relation to prescribing and hospital referrals decisions.