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GPs indemnity and how it’s effected our workforce

By Roberto Orlandi

Over the past 9 years GPs indemnity has increased by 50% - yes, 50%!!

The average cost now being £8500 / per year. If you break that down – GPs have on average had an increase of pay year on year, just shy of 5.5% per annum, totalling 50% increase since 2010.  

Now if we look at the CEOs of these MDOs some of them have had an increase in salary of up to 45% since 2014 – So how is it right that the individuals actually saving lives must pay such an extortionate amount to in essence, protect themselves?

And why has it taken a 50% increase in GPs indemnity costs for something to be done about it?

Year on year we see the ever-increasing demand for more GPs, with the current workforce currently short of circa 5000 GPs. In actual fact it is more than that if you take into account some of the current workforce only covering minimal sessions and not full time equivalent – which is understandable.

This year the RCGP reported that if the workforce doesn’t increase, 3 million patients could be left to find a new practice as 350 surgeries could close due to not having enough or even any GPs. In its study of 1,094 doctors across England, the RCGP found almost a third said they would not be working in general practice in five years, with stress and retirement cited as the most common reasons.

So how does this tie in?

In any other industry, if it was more expensive for you to work year on year with growing demands, would you carry on? So why are we shocked or surprised that there is a shortage of GPs in the UK? My question, is why has it taken Matt Hancock and other top bods at the NHS / Government to do something about it?  

This state backed indemnity is a god send for so many reasons. All NHS GP service providers, including out-of-hours providers, will be able to be members of the scheme free of charge and it will cover all GPs and other staff working in delivery of primary medical services, including locum and salaried GPs, prison GPs, nurses and other health professionals.

According to the RCGP, in addition to the introduction of the indemnity scheme, there will be a 1.4% uplift to the practice contract, which includes:

  • A pay uplift for all GPs and practice staff
  • An expenses uplift, including £20m for SARs
  • 1% linked to 2018/19 pay uplift
  • Funding for practices to engage in establishing networks
  • £30m into Global Sum for NHS 111 direct booking

What will be the position from 2020 onwards?

  • There will be no clinical indemnity subscriptions to pay
  • Global sum will be increased, which will allow a pay uplift in line with predicted inflation, with a mechanism for readjustment if inflation changes substantially
  • This will in turn mean there will be no approach to the DDRB for GP principals, but it will be retained as an option for salaried GPs, other practice staff, GP trainees, GP educators and GP appraisers
  • The global sum increase will also allow for expenses to be uplifted in line with predicted inflation
  • GPC England and NHS England will agree a mechanism for readjustment, if pay significantly exceeds the intended uplift or inflation is significantly above current predictions
  • NHS England plans to publish details of all GPs with NHS earnings in excess of £150k (and intends to extend this to other NHS contractors in due course)

This will almost instantly have an impact on the workforce:

  • More doctors will go into GP training as they won’t see extortionate indemnity costs.
  • The current workforce will increase their capacity and will work more - Personally, I have already seen an increase in GPs capacity.

This certainly all sounds positive in terms of the upcoming future, but is it all plausible for the long term? I’d love for you to get in touch and hear your thoughts about the topic.

 

 

 

Sources:

MDDUS

Medical Protection – GP indemnity Hub

NHS employers

NHS England

Nursing & Midwifery Council

Royal College of General Practitioners

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

McGinley Healthcare Ltd is a company registered in England and Wales. Registered number: 7216155. Registered office: 56 Clarendon Road, Watford, Hertfordshire, WD17 1DB.

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