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NHS England extends GP indemnity scheme

The 2016 Winter Indemnity Scheme is extended by a month to cover Easter

Ingrid Torjesen

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

NHS England has announced that the 2016 Winter Indemnity Scheme will be extended by a month, until 30 April, to help GPs cover extra shifts over the Easter holiday period.

The scheme was introduced to help GPs struggling to cope with the rising cost of indemnity payments so that they could offer greater access for patients. The scheme followed the GP Indemnity Review, published last summer, which highlighted that the above-inflation rises in the amount GPs must pay to buy indemnity against clinical negligence was unsustainable and is discouraging GPs from taking on certain work, like out-of-hours care.

Meanwhile, first payments from the GP Indemnity Support Scheme are also set to be paid to GP practices to further offset average indemnity inflation. The two-year scheme is making £30 million available in 2016/17 while NHS England works with the Department of Health on long-term plans for indemnity reform. The payments are made directly to practices and based on 51.6p per patients on their list as of 1 December 2016.

Dr Arvind Madan, GP and Director of Primary Care for NHS England, said: “The General Practice Forward View committed to help address the indemnity problem and today’s announcement is the latest step in the work NHS England has been doing with the Department of Health and the medical defence organisations. We know the rising costs of indemnity are proving a real obstacle for GPs and this funding is an example of our determination to help tackle the issue.”

How would qualify the communication between primary and secondary care services? (See OnMedica News 20/04)

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