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Government delays state-backed GP indemnity update

The Government has been unable to update GPs on their long-awaited state-backed indemnity solution by the deadline it had set itself.

But, despite the failure to inform GPs in May as promised, a Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson told Pulse an update would come 'in the near future'.

The DHSC announced the scheme last year, after acknowledging that high costs of medical negligence cover were impacting GPs' ability to work.

Pulse understands policy leads within the department met yesterday to discuss the next steps, and that key stakeholders - including the BMA - will receive an update imminently on the scheme - which is due to come into effect by next April.

A DHSC spokesperson said: 'We are continuing to work closely with key stakeholders in the development of the scheme from April 2019. We will provide a further update in the near future.'

BMA GP Committee lead Dr Richard Vautrey said: 'There's nothing new to say on indemnity at the moment.'

What is happening to GP indemnity?

The state-backed indemnity scheme was welcome news to GPs when it was announced last October, following years of rising costs of negligence cover.

However the announcement left many unanswered questions and prompted a mixed response from medical indemnity organisations as well as caveats from the DHSC.

The DHSC has said the scheme will cover all practice staff, and most recently it told Pulse the scheme may potentially cover both future and historic claims.

GPs have been encouraged to participate in a survey to inform the negotiations.

This comes as, over the past years, GPs have been contending with indemnity cost hikes of up to 25% annually, according to reports.

Readers' comments (15)

  • David Banner

    And meanwhile we’re left another year in limbo wondering whether to stick with MPS at full whack, or cheaper MDU with worries over retrospective cover.
    The suspicion remains that Hunt kickied this into the long grass to avoid a mass exodus last year with a promise of jam tomorrow , and when the state backed scheme finally arrives it will be hopelessly inadequate.

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  • A surprise, really?

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  • So easy make indemnity 100% tax deductable sorted.

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  • AlanAlmond

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
    ........ ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
    urr......(clears throat) ......ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
    .....ha ha ha ha ha
    You’ve got to be joking? Indemnity delayed? You’re havin a laugh? This is not what I expect not at all.
    Hilarious !!

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  • The carrot moves further away......

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  • I suspect they've looked under the bonnet of medical litigation against GPs and had a small heart attack. It was always going to be complex as there is no one GP job and the risks we face are escalating rapidly. What is really needed is reform of the arcane compensation system that assumes all future care delivered will be private. We should go the same way as New Zealand with a no blame system, it would be much better and safer for everyone in the long run if we abandon the culture of fear that now stalks UK doctors.

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  • ‘There is nothing to say’ says Richard Vautrey

    It would be helpful to even confirm that meetings are happening behind the scenes and that we are still on for an indemnity scheme from last year

    May tempt a few GPs to stay longer in the profession.

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  • Is this the same team that are thrashing out the Brexit deal?

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  • Vinci Ho


    Jon Snow, ''But when enough people make false promises , words stop meaning anything. Then there are no more answer but better and better lies. And lies won't help us in this fight.''
    Tyrion Lannister,''That is indeed a problem. The more immediate problem is that we're fu*ked''

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  • Tantalus

    Slippage, obfuscation and ultimately a big disappointment
    You heard it here first

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