Unaffordable insurance forces NHS bail out

The NHS will introduce a £60 million Indemnity Support Scheme for GPs to compensate for ballooning insurance costs, reports Pulse.

With a 26 per cent increase last year, the cost for indemnity insurance had spiralled out of control, leaving GPs unable to take on extra shifts.

An NHS England board paper had said the scheme would start immediately, but a revision in a later statement said practices will begin receiving support from April 2017.

Pulse reports the deal to be worth around £30 million over each of the next two years, established by NHS England on an “agreed and transparent methodology, based on best available data”.

NHS England had also said they will extend the winter indemnity scheme for out-of-hours GPs. The successful scheme, worth £2 million, saw 500 additional GPs working 14,000 extra out-of-hour shifts last winter.

While the indemnity schemes are designed to support areas of the NHS on a short-term basis, a much longer-term plan to bring about “fundamental reform” is in development.

Working alongside indemnity providers and the NHS Litigation Authority, Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, said the Government had listened to GPs’ views on the unaffordable indemnity system.

He said: “We want the best working conditions for GPs so that they can provide the best service for patients. We have listened to concerns and know that for GPs, paying rising indemnity fees out of their own pockets feels unfair and unsustainable – so are today committing millions to help”.

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