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NHS chief pledges 'very substantial, medium-term GP indemnity solution'

GPs can expect a ‘very substantial medium-term solution’ to the looming indemnity crisis in the ‘not too distant future’, NHS England’s chief executive has said.

Speaking at today's monthly board meeting, Simon Stevens said this comes as indemnity is ‘one of the big issues affecting the GP workforce.

He did not say anything about exactly when the work, which is being conducted via 'three-way talks' with GPs and the Department of Health, would conclude.

Pulse has previously revealed that the prospect of fully funded GP indemnity was ‘on the table’ in these negotiations, which were aiming for a long-term rather than medium-term solution.

Mr Stevens said: 'We know that for jobbing GPs there are a whole series of workload pressures.

‘But one of the big issues for GPs is the threat of indemnity, rising indemnity costs. There is... a very substantial medium term solution that we are working on intensively with GPs and the Government, and we hope to be able to come to some good conclusions on that in the not too distant future.'

The chair of the BMA’s GP Committee has said previously that indemnity increases this year could make general practice ‘untenable’ and issue in a ‘winter crisis like no winter crisis before’.

Costs this year are set to grow because of a change to the discount rate formula used to calculate compensation claims introduced in March.

Defence organisations have been calling for a long term solution to the spiralling costs in litigation and compensation but this is likely to require legislative changes.

It comes NHS England announced it was doubling the size of the fund to reimburse GPs taking on additional out-of-hours shifts this winter, after failing to deliver a pledged long-term solution.

Mr Stevens said: 'There’s also an immediate issue over the winter period, and so – today – NHS England is announcing we will invest £10m over the period October through to the end of the financial year for GPs taking on extra out of hours shifts over that winter period.

'Last year that scheme enabled about 80,000 more GP sessions and we’re hopeful that working with our partners that will be achieved again this year.'

The BMA's GP Committee told Pulse it continues to 'push' the DH on a long-term solution.

The Ministry of Justice announced it would be passing legislation on discount rate reviews, and indemnity provider MDDUS has said it will freeze all GP subscription renewals until summer 2018.

Today, Pulse delivered an open letter to Jeremy Hunt with nearly 400 signatures calling for all GPs ‘regardless of their place of practice’ to have indemnity reimbursed.

Readers' comments (17)

  • I predict a carrot and stick 'we will fund x % if you do y numbers of out: of hours shifts'.

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  • it will be given with one hand and then taken with the other. There will be no net increase in your take home pay!

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  • 5.41 has hit he nail on the head.

    We’ll pay im your indemnity if you work in A&E

    We’ll pay your indemnity if you see 50 patients a day.

    We need crown indemnity to start now. Nothing else is acceptable.

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  • AlanAlmond

    I echo previous comments ...expect a fully loaded poisoned chalice

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  • "....medium term....' cake tomorrow ongoing nonsense. Why not now? Why on earth not now?

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  • When this man and his organisation promise anything ask yourself,when have they ever been fulfilled,no news here an a@@@ is just passing flatus and following through at the same time to give us a good steaming pile leaving a nasty smell.YOU CANNOT TRUST NHSE.

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  • Carrots are supposed to be very good for our OOH's Night vision....and cattle-prod sticks will keep us from falling asleep at the wheel , this winter!

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  • I sense a degree of panic here. OOH is optional for most GPs and crippling indemnity costs leading to a dearth of out of hours GPs combined with a bad winter could lead to melt down..... and Simon Stevens knows it. If you want real leverage with NHSE then this is the time.

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  • Vinci Ho

    Mmmm
    Interesting. When you look at the Brexit negotiations so far, all the PM and her cabinet , presumably and allegedly united , could offer unilaterally was a 'transition period' of about two years to enhance stability as UK gradually withdrew from the single market and EU customs union. May be , this government would pay 20 billions, may be not . The 'offer' , by definition, is medium-term and in the eyes of May , is substantial and generous . The repetitive pattern of lacking long-term visions is simply reflecting the technocratic personality of May and her government i.e. without courage and conviction.
    Such a fast and furious game is politics ; we were moaning that there was no effective and potent opposition to May's government before the general election in June this year. It was then and this is now. The evidence that the shadow chancellor was preparing so called 'war game' scenarios including a 'run on the pound' , does raise the eyebrows in some worrying a form of neo-communism. I ,a person still studying the world history of 20th century , was actually reminded of the terminology , class conflict(or warfare or struggle) as far as these 'war games' were concerned. Then again , the irony is while China or specifically People's Republic of China , as undoubtedly one super power in early 21st century , is still referring to Marx-Lenin-Maoism in its constitution.
    The world is in one typical 'turning point' as far as history is concerned. Only those leaders with real long-term visions can survive his/her nation from the big wheel of time. I am afraid there is no place for technocrats ..........

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  • Dear All,
    Last year it did not create "80,000 more" consultations, it saved 80,000 consultations that GPs were going to pull out of unless something was done.

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