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State-backed indemnity scheme funding ‘still up for negotiation’

The funding for the state-based indemnity scheme is still up for negotiation, despite the Government claiming it is set to come out of existing funding.

The scheme is set to cover indemnity for GPs and will be introduced in April 2019.

The Department of Health and Social Care today released a set of frequently asked questions about the scheme, which said it expects ‘funding for the scheme to come from existing resources allocated for general practice’.

However, the BMA’s GP Committee told Pulse that this is still a matter of contract negotiations.

It also follows the funding announcement by Prime Minister Theresa May of £3.5bn a year extra for primary care by 2023/24.

Pulse understands that indemnity forms part of the contract negotiations for 2019/20, which are at a deadlock over the issue of funding the state-backed scheme.

In its FAQs released today, the DHSC said: ‘The state-backed scheme is being designed to meet the needs of current and future GPs, offer affordable cover for GPs, and offer value for money for taxpayers.

‘Our intention is that individuals covered by the scheme will not be required to make any payments into the scheme. We would expect funding for the scheme to come from existing resources allocated for general practice, and discussions are on-going with the GPC.’

GPC chair Dr Richard Vautrey reiterated that no decision about the funding had yet been made. ‘The matter is still up for negotiation,’ he said.