An initiative to reward doctors for carrying out extra work is to be rolled out further across the NHS.
The ‘Fee for Service’ scheme will see consultants receiving bonuses for extra operations that they perform on top of their normal case load.
It will require new ways of working, leading to thousands of NHS patients having their operations more quickly, Minister John Hutton said.
He also announced that the scheme would be piloted for the first time in the diagnostic sector to help speed up the testing process.
Fee for Service has been piloted in 32 NHS trusts since last October but is to be spread further across the UK with support from an extra £500,000 funding.
Hutton said: “The scheme gives consultants and other NHS staff strong incentives to ensure that more patients are treated more quickly. Initial evaluation of the pilots shows that the new ways of working has made a significant impact in helping reduce waiting times.”