The payment for performance model and its influence on British general practitioners' principles and practice

Cad Saude Publica. 2014 Jan;30(1):55-67. doi: 10.1590/0102-311x00149912.


This article explores some effects of the British payment for performance model on general practitioners' principles and practice, which may contribute to issues related to financial incentive modalities and quality of primary healthcare services in low and middle-income countries. Aiming to investigate what general practitioners have to say about the effect of the British payment for performance on their professional ethos we carried out semi-structured interviews with 13 general practitioner educators and leaders working in academic medicine across the UK. The results show a shift towards a more biomedical practice model and fragmented care with nurse practitioners and other health care staff focused more on specific disease conditions. There has also been an increased medicalisation of the patient experience both through labelling and the tendency to prescribe medications rather than non-pharmacological interventions. Thus, the British payment for performance has gradually strengthened a scientific-bureaucratic model of medical practice which has had profound effects on the way family medicine is practiced in the UK.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • England
  • Family Practice / economics
  • Family Practice / trends
  • Female
  • General Practitioners / economics*
  • General Practitioners / trends
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Primary Health Care / economics*
  • Primary Health Care / trends
  • Professional-Patient Relations
  • Quality of Health Care* / economics