PERFORMANCE Cambridge University Hospitals Foundation Trust wards have been offered cash incentives to discharge patients under a controversial new scheme to alleviate bed blocking.

Wards will receive £1,000 if they discharge two patients by 10:00am each day for a week and £5,000 if they manage it for a month under the so-called “two out by 10” process.

A report by new chief executive Keith McNeil said: “The idea is to work together as a team to increase the number of patients safely discharged home or to the discharge lounge by 10am.

“This concept is one way of bringing big change in small, bite-sized chunks and has already seen successful results in the Australian healthcare system.”

He added: “The money will be available for wards to spend promoting patient care and experience and can be used at the discretion of the ward manager.”

The move was slammed by a patient group as “morally wrong” .

Patients Association chief executive Katherine Murphy told the BBC: “We must make sure there is joined-up thinking between health and social care, so we ensure we’re discharging them for the right reasons and not for financial incentives, which are morally wrong.”