GPs in Wales will be offered cover by the same NHS clinical indemnity provider that currently covers out of hours and secondary care, the Welsh government has confirmed.
Speaking at the Welsh NHS Confederation annual conference today in Cardiff, health minister Vaughan Gething told delegates that the NHS Shared Services Partnership – Legal and Risk Services would operate the scheme from the 1 April.
Last May, it was announced that Wales would follow England’s lead in introducing a state-backed indemnity scheme to tackle spiralling costs.
Mr Gething said it would be aligned as far as possible to the plans announced in England so that GPs in Wales – and those working across the border – would not be at a disadvantage.
The scheme will cover clinical negligence liabilities for all staff providing primary medical services including GP practice staff, salaried and locum GPs, practice pharmacists, practice nurses, and healthcare assistants.
‘This new scheme will provide greater stability and certainty for GPs in Wales.
‘It will support GP practices and primary care clusters in their delivery of sustainable and accessible health care,’ Mr Gething said.
GPs had warned Welsh Assembly members that the high cost of medical indemnity insurance was putting GPs off practising, especially those who want to do part-time or locum work later in their careers.
BMA GP Committee Wales chair Dr Charlotte Jones said they supported the government’s decision.
She said: ‘The proposed scheme will address one of the biggest financial pressures on GPs, and will enable all GPs, practice teams and wider cluster healthcare professionals to work more closely together taking forward the transformation of Welsh primary care.’
The new GP contract for England announced last month has guaranteed GMS contract funding uplifts every year on top of funding the indemnity of all GPs and general practice staff.
Formal negotiations on a 2019/20 Welsh contract for general practice have just begun.