A new indemnity scheme for GPs

BMJ 2017; 359 doi: (Published 20 October 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;359:j4886
  1. Abi Rimmer
  1. The BMJ

What does the announcement of a state backed indemnity scheme mean for GPs?

Speaking at the Royal College of General Practitioners’ (RCGP) annual conference on 12 October, the health secretary announced plans for a state backed indemnity scheme for GPs in England.1

Jeremy Hunt told the conference, “I know a big issue has been the fluctuations, variability, and the cost of indemnity, and we’ve seen that rise to around £8000 per GP.” He said that the new scheme would be more affordable and would cover all doctors working in general practice.

It would be similar, he said, to the existing arrangements for hospital doctors. Currently, NHS trusts are responsible for handling and financing claims of negligence against the doctors they employ. However, hospital doctors are advised by both the BMA and the Department of Health to also have personal indemnity insurance,2 as the government scheme does not provide assistance for disciplinary issues, referrals to the General Medical Council, fatal accidents, or coroner inquests, and it does not cover private work.

The announcement of a state backed scheme for GPs, which …

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