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At the heart of general practice since 1960

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)

  • Go abroad! Ditch this tsunami of rubbish here. Your son will have a better lifestyle and so will you.
    It is only the start of gp persecution.
    Patients do not really understand enough to care.
    You will have worked so hard all your life you deserve better. Although it may be hard to start with, once you have made that mental decision you will be almost there.
    Also what future has your son got in this country??? I am sure he will have a better one in Oz.
    Good luck!

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  • Indeed - I would like to do some OOH work, as I used to enjoy it. However, indemnity rises are now of such magnitude that OOH is financially viable only if one doe s alot of it, to the exclsuion of daytime GP, rather than a shift every couple of weeks as used to be the norm.

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  • I am under capacity time wise at the moment but maxed out on the hours covered under my indemnity until my cover renews later this month. Currently turning down 100s of sessions a week in this part of the U.K.

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  • OOH work is unsustainable in every aspect. Indemnity comes to about £35 per hour. Average locum rate for day time ranges from £ 80-90.There is travelling to pay, the nerves doctors use in dealing with unrealistic public expectation. Anything and everything that all other agencies including patient's own GP does not do, is demanded from OOH service.

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  • Indemnity and increasing litigation and that monster/ogre called GMC, with it fitness to practice letters will put paid to medicine in the UK, unless there are changes.
    The UK NHS pays out MORE than any other Western country in litigation. Theres 28 billion wailing litigation in the wings \. Lawyers making 75000, the claimant 1000 in recent case.
    If the law does not change,medicine will.

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  • Indemnity providers want to know of any complaints right at the initial stages.
    But then they increase your subscription using the excuse of "advice given" even where the complaints have been trivial and closed down quickly with no payouts whatsoever.

    This just beggars belief. You are doomed if you ask doomed if you don't.

    If we can't even take advice or ask them to proof read a complaint answer then what's the point in paying thousands of pounds every year.

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  • I agree with other comments ..
    You should go abroad where your son will have better life .
    Working condition here are getting worse day by day with unreasonable demands from patient and government and on top of that this high cost of indemnity .
    I have worked in NHS over 40 yrs and have seen many changes , some good and some bad but never as bad as this ..
    Thinking to finish soon

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  • Ruined UK profession born out of jealousy for what you do and your place in society.
    Reevaluate.

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  • Well done for highlighting a massive obstacle for doctors to work in and out of hours. It is a huge deterrent to retiring doctors to stay on and if the Government are serious about finding 5000 more doctors they'll have to address this.

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  • Crown indemnity must come in for in and out of hours work otherwise GP is not feasible in the long term.

    At the moment we are paying about 1 month worth of our salaries for MDU/MPS fees.

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