Dementia Identification Scheme

NHS England introduced a £55 payment per new dementia diagnosis registered by GPs. This aimed to increase the proportion of people estimated to have dementia who had received a formal diagnosis from half to two-thirds by 2015.

The scheme provoked a strong media reaction and criticism from both doctors and the general public. Fifty GPs signed an open letter to Simon Stevens, NHS England Chief Executive and Alistair Burns, National Clinical Lead for Dementia. The GPs expressed concern that the financial incentive was unethical because it encouraged doctors to give patients a diagnostic label which may not be in their best interests and which they cannot choose to 'opt-out' of.

Simon Stevens announced that the scheme was a 'one-time catch up opportunity' and would not be renewed in April 2015. Instead, the Enhanced Service Specification for 2015/16 would offer GPs a payment for each completed dementia screen, as a proportion of those performed nationally.

Source(s)

NHS England.
Enhanced Service Specification; Dementia Identification Scheme.
NHS England; 2014.

NHS England.
Enhanced Service Specification; Facilitating timely diagnosis and support for people with dementia 2015/16.
NHS England; 2015.

Brunet M.
An open letter to Simon Stevens, NHS chief executive, and Alistair Burns, national clinical lead for dementia.
BMJ.
2014; 349: g6666.