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GPs buried under trusts' workload dump

MDU announces it is halving cost of GP subscriptions from next month

The Medical Defence Union (MDU) has said it is writing to all GPs and primary care staff working in England to announce a 50% cost in indemnity subscriptions from next month.

It is in response to the announcement by health secretary Jeremy Hunt today to establish a state-backed indemnity scheme from 2019 that will cover all GPs for all NHS work.

The MDU said that any renewal or new subscription from 1 November will ’see subscription quotes around 50% lower than current levels’.

In a statement, it said: ’This reflects the MDU’s expectation that claims arising from NHS primary care provided since the announcement, will, in due course be picked up by the new NHS scheme. In this transitional period, members can continue to report claims to the MDU as normal and all other benefits of membership are unaffected. The discounted subscriptions apply to the whole practice team for work under an NHS England contract.’

Dr Christine Tomkins, MDU chief executive, said: ’We are pleased to see the Government’s announcement today of a state-backed indemnity scheme for general practice in England. To be workable, the scheme will not only need to pick up new GP claims, but also claims costs which have not already been paid for GPs working under an NHS England contract.

’This will be a welcome development for GPs, especially those who have taken part in our ”Save General Practice” campaign and helped to bring about this change. In the meantime, we want to pass on to our primary care members in England, some of the savings we anticipate will follow the scheme’s introduction. This means significantly reduced subscriptions for our members working in primary care in England, which is great news at a time when GPs are struggling with indemnity costs.’

Mr Hunt today announced that the state-backed scheme will form part of the negotiations for the 2018 contract, but it will be introduced in April 2019.

He guaranteed that the scheme will cover all GPs - including locums and sessional GPs - for all their NHS work, but stopped short of including other practice staff, contrary to previous reports.

The MDDUS announced last month that it was freezing all cost increases after the Government’s decision to roll back on reducing the ‘discount rate’, which would have seen the cost of claims rocket.

However, Pulse revealed that GPs were still facing price increases of up to 12%.

Readers' comments (20)

  • Crown indemnity is what we asked not this temporary sticking plaster. More smoke and mirrors. Just how they calculate your QoF and patient funding. Let us stop this and go the dentists' way.

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  • David Banner

    MPS have sent its members an email informing us of the planned change, but says NOTHING about any cut in fees, just a warning to not cancel our membership! . Have MDU caught them off guard? Do they think MDU is in a desperate state and offering 50% off as a last ditch effort to stay afloat? Are MPS simply relying on good old fashioned British laziness when it comes to switching providers? Are they holding their nerve in a fast moving landscape? Or were all the executives out of the office today, and they'll follow suit tomorrow?
    It's a high risk strategy to let MDU steal a march, there will be a mass desertion from MPS if they call this wrong!

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  • My reading of this was that the MDOs have to make some prediction of what future payouts will be and today's announcement has affected the MDU's view of that. I would expect they know more than we do about the detail as they will have been consulted by the DH...

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  • If all GPs in the country indemnity funds were refunded / given free, that would cost someone in the region of £5-10 billion (napkin maths). Where is that money going to come from? GPs. Qof', mpig etc will be reduced to fund it. Mark my words.

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  • *500-1000 million rather.

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  • It would be good if the MDU would care to explain why, when my subscription renewed 2 months ago I have to wait 10 months for my subscription fee to be reduced. Whereas people who are lucky to have the subscription renew after the 1st November will be paying half what I am paying for indemnity at the same time.

    The MDU being a mutual organisation is owned by its members. But apparently not all members are treated equally.

    This was after the MDU increased my subscription rate by 18% this year despite no changes in my circumstances.

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  • MPS say some think today to retain your members.

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  • The canny Scots at the MDDUS have issued a holding statement . Time for me to join the MDU methinks.

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  • I agree with Barney - two months ago my subs went up 28% after no changes and had email to notify me yesterday that would not change until my next renewal in 10 months
    not very mutual

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  • Dear All,
    Please read teh updated DH FAQ on this development. There appears to be a real issue with "run off" cover.
    Paul C

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