FINANCES: North Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group has finalised an incentive scheme to encourage GPs to adopt the electronic Choose and Book system for patient referrals rather than using paper.

The CCG has been concerned that patients have to wait longer for appointments if their GP uses the traditional paper methods of referral.

Practices will receive 50p per head of population for patient referrals made via Choose and Book in 2015-16.

CCG board papers said: “It has been identified locally that out of area patients are getting quicker appointments at Hampshire Hospitals Foundation Trust because their GPs are using Choose and Book. E-referrals are quick and efficient. Paper referrals, used by some north Hampshire GPs, only get what is left of the appointment slots after the e-referrals have taken appointments, sometimes one or two weeks beforehand.”

The idea is part of a wider scheme that also rewards GPs for medicines management and attending clinical meetings. The scheme is open to 20 GP practices in the area.