IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Evaluation of the introduction of a pay for performance contract for UK family doctors using participant perceptions


  • Matt Sutton
  • Divine Ikenwilo
  • Diane Skatun


In 2004 the UK government introduced a new ‘pay for performance’ element into the contract for family doctors (FDs). Its universal introduction with no pre-intervention data is not atypical of system-wide health reform but poses a considerable evaluation challenge. We derive estimates of its impact based on qualitative perceptions of the treatment effect reported by a sample of participants. We exploit variation in the firstyear achievements of those participants who thought quality had remained the same to generate pre-intervention estimates for those that perceived a change in quality. The average partnership of 4 FDs was paid £74,000 for achieving 982 of the 1,050 quality points available in the first year. Of these, we estimate the mean net gains attributable to the new contract to be less than 4 quality points. These gains were predominantly made on the clinical criteria and were larger for partnerships facing more competition for patients and with markers of higher quality prior to the introduction of the new contract.

Suggested Citation

  • Matt Sutton & Divine Ikenwilo & Diane Skatun, 2007. "Evaluation of the introduction of a pay for performance contract for UK family doctors using participant perceptions," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 07/20, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  • Handle: RePEc:yor:hectdg:07/20

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: Main text
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item


    Family doctors; pay for performance; perceptional evaluation;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:yor:hectdg:07/20. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jane Rawlings). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.