The new 2017/2018 GP contract is providing £4,000+ for GP practices with 7,000 patients to cover rising indemnity costs, with locum GPs being told to raise their fees by up to 2% to claim their share of the indemnity funding.
From April 2017 a sum of £30m in funding will be made available. The National Association of Sessional GPs (NASGP) confirmed that most locum GPs will have to increase their fees by 1% or 2% to cover the anticipated rise in indemnity costs.
Award winning recruitment consultancy Primary Care People CEO Tawhid Juneja said “ It’s a fact that indemnity fees have risen every year for GPs. Available figures show that a quarter of GPS experienced a shocking increase of up to 20% in just one year in 2016. This is unsustainable and GPs can’t be expected to cover those charges,
“For our GP candidates we have solved the problem by sourcing our own indemnity cover. It is a positive step forward that the NHS is providing some funding to cover indemnity costs, but it’s simply not enough. Without indemnity cover GPs are unable to fulfil out of hours cover and inevitably patients suffer because of it.”
The funding from NHS England represents almost 60p per patient, covering a population of 53m people in England. Sharing the funding fairly will be a complicated procedure and require more bureaucracy and administration staff
‘Tawhid continues “This is a sticking plaster approach and does not solve the problem. It has been suggested that mdus should receive the money direct so that they can freeze their astronomical fees and cut out the middle man, but that doesn’t encourage or incentivise them to find cheaper ways of providing indemnity cover, which is what, as professional organisations, they should be focusing on.”
The funding will be paid direct to practices and it will down to the practices’ partners to ensure that each GP receives the amount they are due. It will be up to individual locum GPs to adjust their invoices so that they can also benefit from this new contract initiative.