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80% of GPs limit out-of-hours work because of spiralling indemnity fees

Four out of five GPs have said spiralling indemnity fees are limiting the number of out-of-hours shifts they’re willing to do, according to a survey of out of hours GPs.

The survey of 430 out of hours GPs, by out-of-hours provider group Urgent Health UK, found 79%  were limiting the number of out-of-hours shifts they undertake because of clinical indemnity premiums.

And 68% warned that if fees continue to rise they would consider cutting back their hours further, or stopping doing out of hours entirely.

NHS England has said it would look to reimburse the indemnity fees of GPs signing up to out-of-hours work in pilots announced earlier this year, after NHS leaders admitted attempts to alleviate winter pressures were hampered by a dearth of GPs.

Urgent Health UK chief executive, Dr John Horrocks, said: ‘Already across the country, many providers of out-of-hours care are struggling to fill rotas due to a range of workforce issues including the high cost of indemnity; we simply cannot afford for this situation to continue, particularly as we head towards the winter period when pressure on services is even greater.

‘I am aware that NHS England is looking closely into this crucial issue and I hope urgent action is taken to resolve it.’

Pulse recently reported that some GP groups have been negotiating indemnity cover with private insurance providers in a bid to reduce the cost of indemnity.