Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said today that the NHS must modernize so that health services are paid for the quality of care they provide.
Using maternity services as an example, he discussed the current system of ‘Payment by Results’, saying it produces ‘perverse incentives’ because maternity units lose income if they are able to help women to have a straightforward birth.
Belinda Phipps, Chief Executive, NCT, said:
“This is great news for expectant parents, and something we – almost alone – understood and have been campaigning for over a number of years.
“We welcome the proposal for a payment system which will mean maternity units are paid according to the expected level of complexity of care a woman will need. Maternity units will now benefit financially if they are skilled enough to prevent the woman needing complex medical treatment where it is inappropriate. We are pleased that this proposal removes the disincentive for high quality, low intervention care – which is the safest for, and the preference of, most parents.
“We are delighted that Andrew Lansley has brought maternity services to the top of the agenda and look forward to working with the Government in ensuring new parents have the best start to family life.”