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Hancock hints indemnity scheme could be paid for with GP core funding

Exclusive Health secretary Matt Hancock has hinted the state-backed indemnity scheme - due to start in April - could be funded using GP core funding.

Speaking to Pulse, Mr Hancock said his priority was stopping the cost of indemnity from spiraling ever higher, but when questioned on funding he said the ‘costs have to fall somewhere’.

NHS England is looking at where the money for the long-awaited scheme will come from, as part of the next GP contract negotiations, he explained.

Asked whether the state-backed indemnity scheme will come out of GP core funding, Mr Hancock told Pulse: ‘Clearly the costs of indemnity have been rising sharply.’

‘Those costs have to fall somewhere. And our goal is to stop the rise in those costs and I very much hope that we can support GPs in making sure that system works far better in the future,’ he said.

Mr Hancock continued: ‘The exact nature of the future, where the future liabilities, where the cost of it sits as opposed to the risk, is tied to the negotiations around the GP contract.'

‘NHS England is leading on that,’ he added.

An NHS England spokesperson said: ‘NHS England is supportive of the Government’s proposal for a state-backed indemnity scheme for GPs and is working closely with Department for Health and Social Care on its implementation.’

The BMA said it could not comment on the indemnity scheme, including the issue of funding, as negotiations were ongoing.

Readers' comments (36)

  • National Hopeless Service

    So I wont be paying for it by paying for it.

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  • Perhaps it could come from the spiralling costs in secondary care?

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  • One can feel a further pay cut coming on.

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  • Let common sense prevail

    I've just had a letter from MPS stating that I will still need a policy with them when the state scheme commences. No surprise there, but they go on to state that I 'may be entitled to a discount' because of the state scheme. Am I paranoid in thinking that I will continue to pay several thousand pounds a year for my own policy, and have a similar some deducted from my own income through a reduction in GP core funding?

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  • THIS GUY HAS NO UNDERSTANDING OF THE ISSUES.

    SO INSTEAD OF GP PARTNERS JUST PAYING FOR THEIR OWN MEDICAL INDEMNITY THE IDEA IS THAT THEY PAY THE INDEMNITY FOR OVERPAID LOCUMS TOO.....GENIUS

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  • WHY CAN'T THE COSTS FALL ON THOSE WHO EARN THE MOST RATHER THAN GP PARTNERS WHO ON AN HOURLY RATE EARN THE LEAST.

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  • I knew something like this is going to happen.All the 5 year forward view BS.
    You wonder why GPs do not trust the government. They have increased our risks so much and caused the rising costs and now this! Nope, I am not going to help anymore.

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  • I hope he realises how vital this issue is. One of the only things keeping me in partnership is this idea of state backed indemnity. If it turns out to be BS ...

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  • I LOVE THE WAY THE REPORTS SAYS "HINTS"..HOW DEROGATORY AND INSULTING THAT WE MUST ALL HANG ON THE EVERY WORD OF A "FOOL".

    WELL I WOULD LIKE TO "HINT" THAT THIS MAN IS "MASSIVELY OUT OF HIS DEPTH" AND "HINT" THAT HE SHOULD BE "FIRED"

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  • ‘You couldn’t make it up’ or ‘totally predictable’?

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  • RCGP soon to declare full support for the scheme no doubt.

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  • David Banner

    In 2017, when the dire warnings on spiralling indemnity costs were everywhere, Hunt cleverly booted it into the long grass by putting off the decision until 2019. Now we are here it is obvious there will be no meaningful financial support. Is anyone surprised?

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  • Go on Hancock, make my day.

    Announce next year's contract will have reduction in global sum and let's see how many practices will hand back the contract

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  • AlanAlmond

    the scheme comes in in April and this chump is going about 'hinting' about how it might be funded. he doesn't know yet..he doesn't know yet how it's going to be funded, but he's 'hinting'! clueless fool! WTF it's going to be WORSE than what we have already, a compulsory NHS scheme funded out of GP income, deducted in advance from core funding in ADDITION to another compulsory non NHS scheme paid for directly by GPs - basically also coming out of core funding. it's going to actually cost MORE than we currently pay. it's like they identified an issue and have decided to introduce a scheme that would make it even worse, whilst simultaneously shitting on us by making out they are helping! you couldn't make it up. what a total bunch of salad tossers.

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  • Rob Peter to pay Paul.

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  • I heard Hancock being interviewed just prior to the Brexit vote and he came across well. I suspect he has a good understanding of the GP predicament but it's just there isn't the wide enough political imperative to do much about it at this stage.
    Things need to fall apart more as they most inevitably will - its just a matter of time before eyeball to eyeball we are both seeing white.

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  • AlanAlmond

    Rob Peter to pay Paul...more like Rob Peter to pay Peter

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  • Another triumph for the BMA negotiators.

    Please, just stop paying the BMA subs, they are not our friends, they are not on our side.

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  • I left the bma late last year when they came out and backed eu remain agsinst the will of the people, I have saved quite a bit of money so far....

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  • Alas, and oh so very predictably, it’s more like Rob Peter to pay Peter!

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  • My OOH organisation has a group scheme that covers my ooh work
    I no longer pay indemnity fees
    Surely this can be replicated in mainstream general practice?
    GP s are already being short changed on pay so the government must have the extra funds !!?

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  • I will not carry out any locum sessions in daytime practice until my indemnity is funded
    I will no longer work for too little at the cost of my personal and family needs

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  • Rob Peter to Rob Peter to pay the taxman

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  • Obviously financially favors locums over partners.
    Is it any wonder that almost all newly qualified GPs are becoming portfolio/locum Gps?

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  • If the payment comes out of core funding, it will actually cost GP partners 40% more as they will no longer be able to claim tax relief on it.

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  • God if they cock this up watch the collapse accelerate rapidly.

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  • Took Early Retirement

    To me it's simple. Just extend the cover that secondary care has. The costs would be tiny compared to the costs of the B-word. And maybe changing the system totally and going over to a NZ-style "no fault" compensation? But I forget, that would reduce work for some lawyers and an awful lot of supposedly full-time MPs are also....lawyers.

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  • So the financial pot/trough for providing medical care to GBP is being sucked dry by managers and lawyers - not going to be much left for medical/nursing/etc staff, even though it’s them that actually provide the service? Predictable result?

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  • AlanAlmond

    "So the financial pot/trough for providing medical care to GBP is being sucked dry by managers and lawyers" a good point, if this money comes out of core funding its straight forward removing money from clinical care and paying it to the insurance industry and lawyers. what a steaming pile..well done Handcock

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  • really can't be bothered with all the nonsense anymore - 3 years, 5m and 9 days to go for early retirement. but unlike government this is not a hint. just so you know the difference.

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  • well its this simple - no money= no service. he does this we all need to cut back on the service we provide.
    and before the cardies come out 'what about the patient in all this' - this is the attitude that has led us to where we are - a weak, spineless profession that this government knows can do what it wants to at will - the patients voted for these idiots, they need to feel the full force of this 'democratic' decision.

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  • Who needs an indemnity scheme for primary care Drs when there aren’t any?

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  • No surprise here, then. Just look what happened with Crown indemnity for hospital doctors - just an excuse for the trusts to dump the doctor in the poo, whilst settling out of court when the case was fully defensible, purely to save money. This just pays into the hands of the "no win, no fee" operators

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  • I've STOPPED all subscriptions to the BMA and RCGP. What an absolute waste of time. I will be giving that money to UNICEF instead and hopefully they will spend it on some worthwhile cause in the developing world. Where are the 'leaders' of our profession? Chasing gongs no doubt!

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  • Come on guys-there is no magic money tree, unless you are the DUP.

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  • Why should our dear partners who have been for years prospering not share now for poor locums who have been locums because they were not made partners because of somebody's greed. On the other hand if they think locums are overpaid why not have guts to become locums themselves. Sad they say all rubbish while locums are paying much more in indemnity cost than them.

    To be true I see as a locum and a partner. I expect the very least from these politicans who unluckily have empty words, no money.

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