“Costs of indemnity” here refers to the costs of insuring GPs against liabilities that might arise out of legal action brought against them if they are sued for clinical negligence. In 2017, the Centre for Policy Studies reported that an average GP was paying £8000 per year in indemnity costs and that this was forcing some GPs to leave the profession. This policy promises to provide the necessary short-term funding for GPs and to work towards a long-term solution to the costs of indemnity.
Following a report by the GP Indemnity Review in July 2016, the GP Indemnity Support Scheme was launched to provide short-term financial support to GPs. The current government has continued with the implementation of that scheme, distributing £60 million to practices from mid-March 2018.
More recently, the government has surveyed General Practice workers regarding current indemnity arrangements, and has introduced a new, state-backed indemnity scheme, the Clinical Negligence Scheme for General Practice (CNSGP). The scheme will cover “everyone working in general practice…in relation to NHS services”.
The CNSGP, which became active in April 2019, is part of a broader framework for GP contract reform. The stated aim of the CNSGP is to “solve the indemnity problem”, but the government has acknowledged the need for “further joint work” on financial settlements.
Additional short-term financial support for GPs and the implementation of the CNSGP are evidence that this policy is ‘in progress’. Whether this turns out to be the promised “sustainable long-term solution” is something we will need to verify through continued tracking. Follow this policy to stay up to date.
Indemnify yourself against ignorance – get the details
- Average indemnity costs are ‘£8,000 a year’, claims think-tank report – Pulse
- GP Indemnity Review – NHS England
- Policy document for short term financial assistance programme – In-hours GP Indemnity – NHS England
- Clinical Negligence Scheme for General Practice (CNSGP) – NHS Resolution
- Investment and evolution: A five-year framework for GP contract reform to implement The NHS Long Term Plan – NHS England