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Indemnity rises could stop me from working

From Dr Preeti Shukla, Blackburn

Indemnity had been one of the burning topics of discussion in the GP survival forum over the past year. But its significance didn’t hit me until I got my MDO renewal quote in August.

I read the quote then read it again unable to believe it was right. It changed August from my birthday month to horror month.

Finally, I composed myself and rang my defence union to query the mammoth rise in fees when my circumstances had not changed. My defence organisation explained they are expecting a 10% rise every year as litigation culture has hit us hard.

So it’s a double whammy for GPs with increased indemnity and litigation. It left me wondering when complaints, which used to be a learning tool, turned into weapons of warfare against GPs.

I had to drop out of hours (OOH) work as it was not financially viable. For me, as a single mum, it meant a few treats for my son had to go. In a wider view, the NHS lost a willing GP to indemnity, adding to the OOH crisis. This was not inflicted upon the NHS by my gender, no matter what some (Dominic Lawson) might say.

Among all the other factors which are crippling general practice, rising indemnity is the one which can effectively stop me from working.

The thought scares me so I distract myself and start building Lego with my son and hope we will have a solution soon. If not, I am doomed.

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Readers' comments (23)

  • The answer is so bleedin' obvious . Out of Hours companies pay for the indemnity. Of course they won't because it affects their profits. Nobody taking any shifts for 2 months might focus their minds on finding a solution .

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  • I do mostly out of hours. My indemnity cost for a month is £1500 but this is the amount of out of hours earnings I make in a week so it's manageable. You just have to do enough shifts to make it worthwhile.

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  • I challenge the MDO's to prove that OOH care is more 'high risk' as it is a perception rather than fact in my opinion. The OOH organisation that I work for has not had a claim brought to them apart from a case dating back to 2011. We are on the face of it dealing with mainly coughs and cold in an environment where you have 20 minute appointments. Add in summary care records means more information is available than before. Finally, the safety netting aspect in OOH is much tighter. So therefore - where is the risk???

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