End Game warmly congratulates the Conservative Party for bravely recognising the scale of the challenge the NHS faces, and daring to think outside the box in public.

In this case “the box” they are thinking outside of is the principle of treatment based on clinical need.

A Tory consultation paper picked up by The Independent over the weekend suggested, among other things, that there should be a cap on the number of times in a year a patient can visit a GP.

It was widely pointed out that this would simply shift demand to accident and emergency departments, which even some government ministers have noticed have been a bit busy of late. A Twitter discussion using the hashtag #badhealthpolicyideas quickly followed.

Courtesy of said Twitchat, here are a selection of other mad perverse incentives that the Conservatives might like to consider:

  • Refund tax to those people who’ve not used the NHS in that year;
  • Restrict the care people get according to how much tax they’ve paid (both from ‏@richardblogger);
  • Performance manage regulators on how many hospitals are seen as improved (from @mbirty)
  • Add an extra layer of triage at the A&E front door, run by receptionists (from @nhsgooroo);
  • Admit all emergency patients instantly to reduce A&E waiting times; and
  • Introduce a maximum length of stay in hospital to prevent delayed transfers of care (both from HSJ’s @dwilliamsHSJ)