OBJECTIVES: To elicit general practitioners' and practice nurses' accounts of changes in their clinical practice or practice organisation made to claim a pilot health promotion payment. To describe attitudes towards the piloted and previous health promotion payments.\ud \ud DESIGN: Qualitative, semistructured interview study.\ud \ud \ud SETTING: 13 general practices in Leicester.\ud \ud \ud PARTICIPANTS: 18 general practitioners and 13 practice nurses.\ud \ud \ud RESULTS: Health professionals did not report substantially changing their clinical practice to claim the new payments and made only minimal changes in practice organisation. The new health promotion payment did not overcome general practitioners' resistance towards raising the issue of smoking when they felt that doing so could cause confrontation with patients. General practitioners who made the largest number of claims altered the way in which they recorded patients' smoking status rather than raising the topic of smoking more frequently with patients. Participants had strong negative views on die new payment, feeling it would also be viewed negatively by patients. They were, however, more positive about health promotion payments that rewarded "extra" effort-for example, setting up practice based smoking cessation clinics.\ud \ud \ud CONCLUSIONS: General practitioners and practice nurses were negative about a new health promotion payment, despite agreeing to pilot it. Health promotion payments do not automatically generate effective health promotion activity, and policymakers should consider careful piloting and evaluation of future changes in health promotion payments.\ud \u
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