So Doctors are to be paid £55 to diagnose Dementia.
Everyone is up in arms about introducing incentives into the doctor patient relationship, and i am sure, as are the protesters, that this intervention is going to increase the number of people diagnosed during the period when the bonus applies.
Is this a good idea? It certainly has made the diagnosis issue from page headlines and i expect every GP will be aware of the policy by the time they leave work this evening, so the Government has successfully communicated their intent. Nothing travels faster than bad news.
But let us think of the wider systemic implications, because this bonus is being paid for 6 months only. If the number of diagnoses does climb, this will create a bow wave of demand on the other dementia services for the NHS. Have they been pre-warned? Have additional resources been put in place to cope with this demand? I would be really surprised if this has happened. Politicians, and all of us, really need to think through the systemic consequences of actions like this