It has been all eyes on GP indemnity in the past year – and having been at the centre of negotiations, the BMA GP Committee’s deputy chair says getting the Government-backed deal signed off has been his biggest achievement in the past 12 months.
Dr Mark Sanford-Wood’s efforts – in combination with other members of the GPC executive team in England – meant the scheme launched without a hitch in April.
Announced as part of the five-year GP contract, the deal means GPs’ and practice staff’s indemnity cover for clinical negligence claims relating to NHS work is now paid for by the Government.
And despite rumours the cost of the scheme would be met through a cut to GP funding, the global sum was still increased as part of the new contract.
Some of the finer details of the scheme that have since emerged have not been so popular among GPs.
The revelation that information about GPs making a claim could be passed on to the GMC or NHS England for further investigation was not welcomed – nor the confirmation that claims would ultimately be at the ‘discretion’ of the health secretary.
But despite these details, after a period in which indemnity fees were skyrocketing for the profession, the introduction of a new NHS scheme has undoubtedly taken a huge burden off family doctors.
Coming up, Dr Sanford-Wood says he is working on ‘the next contract deal that will see the flourishing of primary care networks’.
Why influential: Oversaw the introduction of the state-backed indemnity scheme
What others say: ‘Intuitive, innovative and reliable’
Random fact: Is learning to use the longbow