The government’s announcement that it would incorporate greater measures of quality into payment by results has been welcomed.

The announcement was made yesterday in a speech to the King’s Fund.

The think tank’s chief executive Niall Dickson said: “The commitment to reward quality instead of just paying for volume of work is a good move but care will have to be taken on how it is introduced to ensure it encourages better performance from all providers and does not, for instance, hamper poorer performing hospitals’ ability to progress.”

The CBI welcomed the health secretary’s pledge to abolish GP practice boundaries, but called for further steps to be taken. Susan Anderson, the CBI’s director of public services and skills, said: “By letting people to register at more than one surgery it would mean they could see a doctor near their place of work, and visit one near their home if they need to.”

But shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley said: “This speech did not even begin to face up to the scale of the task ahead for the NHS. 

“We welcome plans to focus more on the results of patients’ treatment but simply looking at patient satisfaction is not enough.  As well, we need a relentless focus on the quality of treatment, with standards set against the best in the world.”