Winter indemnity fund of £10 million announced by NHS England
NHS England has announced it has made £10 million available for indemnity costs as part of plans to help strengthen out-of-hours GP services during the winter period.
It is hoped that this increased budget will provide even more out of hours shifts than the extra 80,000 GP sessions that took place last winter.
The NHS England Winter indemnity scheme has been developed with the Medical Defence Organisations (MDOs), to offset the additional indemnity premium for GPs who wish to work additional sessions for their out-of-hours (OOH) providers. It has been brought in as the increasing cost of indemnity has been a significant barrier to providing out of hours care.
The scheme will run from 1 October 2017 until after the Easter weekend, 2 April 2018, and means doctors can commit to more OOH sessions without the need for them to negotiate additional changes to their level of indemnity cover.
NHS England have stated 'GPs who wish to commit to working additional sessions will agree a likely number of OOH sessions they will work over the period with their OOH provider. Once confirmed, GPs will be able to approach their MDOs to access a bespoke package, funded by NHS England, which would give the doctor cover for their additional commitment to the service.
Access to this indemnity package will be via the MDO's websites.'
Dr Arvind Madan, GP and NHS England Director of Primary Care, said 'NHS England is taking practical advice to ensure rising indemnity costs don't stand in the way of GPs being able to support their patients over winter, both during working hours and at evenings and weekends. Further work is underway to produce a long term answer to the issue of indemnity costs.'
If you would like to apply to be part of the Winter indemnity scheme. Please click on the link to your relevant indemnity provider below: