A practice was charged £3,900 to indemnify its advanced nurse practitioner – more than an entire month’s pre-tax wages, Pulse can reveal.
The ANP, who asked to remain anonymous, said that it would be equivalent to ‘paying to come into work’ if individuals take on the costs, and has called for pressure to be put on the defence organisations nationally.
It follows a series of reports around the cost of indemnity for practice staff, with Pulse revealing that one practice saw its ANP’s indemnity costs increase from £900 to £8,000, and that practices will be charged more than £2,400 to indemnify physician associates.
But this is the first example uncovered where the bill came to more than the practitioner’s salary.
The ANP told Pulse: ‘This year with the MDU I got a quote £8,995 for a full year, about two weeks before my indemnity was due up. So it didn’t give me any time to shop around with anybody else.’
She said this was a rise from around £1,500, which the practice was charged as part of a group indemnity scheme, so she informed the MDU that she had to leave at short notice and wanted to cut this down to one month.
The MDU agreed, but sent her a final bill of £3,900 in a letter which also specified her monthly ‘gross non-indemnified income of £3,750’.
She added that she was effectively ‘paying to come into work’.
The ANP added: ‘So they’re charging me more than I’m being paid. That’s the price, not a quote. I rang them up and said look I’m not paying this, I’m not paying to go in to work.
‘Luckily the practice pay my indemnity for me but I wouldn’t come into work if I had to pay it myself. I don’t know what can be done; pressure needs to be put on nationally.’
Pulse has already reported that another advanced nurse practitioner, Rachel Drago in Weston Super Mare, saw her annual indemnity shoot up from £900 to £7,900. She was also indemnified by the MDU who declined to comment on individual cases.
The GPC has been coming under pressure to tackle indemnity issues in general practice, which have seen bills as much as £30,000 quoted for out of hours GPs.
Other GPs are already seeing their premiums increase as a result of routine extended hours work, with some estimates showing they have increased by a quarter in the past year.
The problems with extended routine access are likely to be a growing problem, as seven-day working is the backbone of Jeremy Hunt’s ‘new deal for general practice’. The new deal also calls for more alternative health professionals, such as physician associates – who Pulse has revealed will have indemnity fees of ‘around £2,400’.