GPs are set to learn details of the Government-backed indemnity scheme in May, with implementation planned for April 2019.
As part of the work, which the Department of Health and Social Care said was ongoing, GPs will be surveyed about their current indemnity cover experience.
The DHSC said in an update provided to the BMA’s GP Committee that work was ongoing ‘with GPs and their representatives to develop a more stable and more affordable indemnity scheme for general practice’.
‘We expect to announce further details of the scheme in May 2018, with the scheme going live from April 2019.’
The DHSC further said that in order to ‘ensure that the scheme works best for general practice and their patients, and provides value for money for government’, it was ‘commissioning a survey so that we can draw on an informed and up to date view of the GP indemnity market as we design the scheme’.
‘The survey will commence shortly, and we want to encourage GPs who are contacted to take part, as well as other health professionals working in general practice, to respond.’
But the DHSC said the scheme ‘will require significant complex work before it can be implemented, including further work with GP representatives and other parties to develop our plans’.
And it added that ‘until the scheme is in place, GPs should continue to ensure they have appropriate indemnity cover in line with GMC requirements to enable them to practise’.
GPC chair Dr Richard Vautrey said: ‘As the statement says, we are working closely with [the DHSC] to ensure they deliver this scheme by April 2019.
‘They are planning a survey to gather more information to help inform this work and details about that should be available shortly.’
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.