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Out-of-hours provider offers free indemnity to attract more GPs

A large out-of-hours provider is offering GPs in Derbyshire free group indemnity cover with a private insurer in a bid to fill shifts.

Derbyshire Health United (DHU) Health Care CIC will now cover GPs’ indemnity in cases of claims resulting from work for DHU only.

DHU said the group policy, which it has taken out with insurance company Beazley, is aimed at attracting more sessional GPs to work in Derbyshire and Leicestershire out-of-hours services.

This comes as a national rise in clinical negligence claims has resulted in above-inflation increases in the cost of premiums leading to GPs avoiding contracted out-of-hours work or leaving this area of work altogether.

According to the DHU, in 2017, premiums costs with traditional MDOs have risen by up to 25% with many GPs reporting premiums ranging from between £7,000 and £20,000 a year.

Pulse recently reported the BMA is in talks with the Government to tackle indemnity ahead of expected increases this autumn that could make GP work ‘untenable’.

Dr Aqib Bhatti, clinical director for DHU Urgent Care Derbyshire, said he hoped the new scheme will open the door to out-of-hours work for more GPs.

He said: ‘The current requirement for non-NHS employed doctors to self-indemnify has been a barrier to attracting people to work on a sessional basis during the out-of-hours period.

‘We hope that this move will unlock that barrier and encourage more GPs to further strengthen our services.’

It comes as GPs in Dorset saw their indemnity costs fall after the local ambulance trust agreed to take on the liability for their out-of-hours work and Pulse reported last year that Cumbria Health On Call (CHOC), an out-of-hours provider covering a large remote, rural area had started to offer £15,000 to new GP employees to cover indemnity in a bid to attract new salaried GPs to the area.