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Government delays state-backed GP indemnity update

The Government has been unable to update GPs on their long-awaited state-backed indemnity solution by the deadline it had set itself.

But, despite the failure to inform GPs in May as promised, a Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson told Pulse an update would come ‘in the near future’.

The DHSC announced the scheme last year, after acknowledging that high costs of medical negligence cover were impacting GPs’ ability to work.

Pulse understands policy leads within the department met yesterday to discuss the next steps, and that key stakeholders – including the BMA – will receive an update imminently on the scheme – which is due to come into effect by next April.

A DHSC spokesperson said: ‘We are continuing to work closely with key stakeholders in the development of the scheme from April 2019. We will provide a further update in the near future.’

BMA GP Committee lead Dr Richard Vautrey said: ‘There’s nothing new to say on indemnity at the moment.’

What is happening to GP indemnity?

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.

This comes as, over the past years, GPs have been contending with indemnity cost hikes of up to 25% annually, according to reports.