How successful are attempts to incentivise service users towards better health?
The use of incentives to reward people for taking positive action, in the field of public health, is a relatively new and untested development in the UK. One of the first trials took place in Tayside in Scotland in 2007. In an attempt to reduce the high numbers of pregnant smokers, the local NHS board offered women weekly grocery vouchers in return for stopping smoking. It was a success. Of the 450 women who took part in the scheme, a fifth had remained non-smokers throughout their pregnancy – twice the success rate of
normal stop smoking services.