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State-backed indemnity scheme will cover GPs working in prisons

The new state-backed indemnity scheme will cover GPs who work in prisons, the Government has said.

Earlier information on the scheme, set to launch in April next year, had said decisions were ‘yet to be made about inclusion of doctors working in other public sector settings including prisons and the MOD’.

But an update to the BMA’s GP Committee said it is ‘expected that all GPs undertaking GMS, PMS, APMS, plus any integrated care delivered under a NHS Standard Contract will be covered by the scheme, as well as GPs working in prisons’.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care confirmed to Pulse that the new information was correct.

The update also said the parties are in talks over how the scheme will be funded.

The GPC has previously said the scheme ‘must cover all GPs whether they are a partner, salaried, locum, prison or other GP’.

The BMA declined to comment further on the ongoing negotiations regarding the state-backed indemnity scheme.

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.