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NHS England: ‘Why we are paying out-of-hours indemnity costs this winter’

Date: 18 August 2017 at 16:04:21 BST

Subject: Winter preparations for 2017/18: GP Winter Indemnity Scheme

Dear RDs I would be grateful for your help in communicating this on to A&E Delivery Board Chairs and their systems.

Winter preparations for 2017/18: GP Winter Indemnity Scheme

Dear A&E Delivery Board Chairs, 

To help with winter planning, I wanted to give you early warning that NHS England is planning to re-run the GP Winter Indemnity Scheme this year to support out of hours and unscheduled care services to secure additional capacity during winter.

 Last years’ scheme helped support the delivery of an additional 80,000 sessions of GP cover in out of hours and unscheduled care services (including GPs working additional sessions in NHS 111). The scheme supports GPs to work additional sessions in these settings, over winter, without them having to pay additional subscriptions to their medical defence organisation (MDO). 

The scheme is planned to run from October 2017 to April 2018 and is likely to be in excess of the £5m announced last year, recognising continuing increases in indemnity premia. NHS England is finalising the details and will announce this as soon as it is ready to run the scheme. CCGs were advised last year that the Winter Indemnity Scheme would not be repeated again this year so we hope that doing this will support your discussions and plans for increased winter capacity.

Ahead of the formal announcement of the scheme it will be useful for you to ensure CCGs and their providers are sighted on these plans through the winter planning process. Should you have any queries please contact the central Primary Care Commissioning team who are leading on the development of the scheme at

Yours sincerely, 

Pauline Philip National Urgent & Emergency Care Director NHS England and NHS Improvement