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GPs to have indemnity increases covered for another year

GPs will be compensated with a £30m pot to cover rises to indemnity costs for another year, the BMA’s GP Committee has said.

This was announced at a GPC roadshow held in London last month.

The news comes as GPs were promised they would learn details of the Government-backed indemnity scheme in May, with implementation planned for April 2019.

At the event, Dr Richard Vautrey said negotiations over the new scheme were still ongoing.

But he added: ‘There will be no change in the indemnity arrangements for practices in this coming year but what will happen is that the rise in cost of indemnity will be funded, as has happened in the previous year, with an additional £30m into global sum.’

He added that it was important that practices – which will receive the money in the global sum – remember that that is ‘for all doctors who work within the practice, partners and salaried GPs’ and everyone should get ‘a fair uplift’.

He said the GPC and Government were ‘working on schemes for how the new system might operate from next year’, but that ‘the principles are fairly straight forward’.

‘We simply want to be treated in the same way as doctors in hospital. Doctors in general practice have effectively an £8,000 tax on an annual basis just to work as a GP. Doctors in hospital don’t pay that tax,’ Dr Vautrey said.

The state-backed indemnity scheme was welcome news to GPs when it was announced last October, following years of rising costs of negligence cover.

However the announcement left many unanswered questions and prompted a mixed response from medical indemnity organisations as well as caveats from the DHSC.

The DHSC has said the scheme will cover all practice staff, and most recently it told Pulse the scheme may potentially cover both future and historic claims.

GPs have been encouraged to participate in a survey to inform the negotiations.

Dr Vautrey also unveiled at the same roadshow that the GPC is holding out hope for the DDRB to award GPs a ‘proper’ funding increase this year, in line with what the GPC has requested in its evidence submission.

The 2018/19 GP contract negotiations between NHS Employers and GPC have yet to conclude.