GP indemnity scheme extended by NHS England

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NHS England has revealed plans to extend the 2016 Winter Indemnity Scheme to April 2017, to allow those working extra shifts to do so without burden of indemnity costs.

The Winter Indemnity Scheme was set up by NHS England in 2016 as part of the General Practice Forward View, with an aim to help GPs pay for the rising indemnity payments while delivering out-of-hours (OOH) care outside of general practice.

It allowed GPs to avoid paying large sums for indemnity against clinical negligence, after    many GPs had warned that buying indemnity for OOH care was unsustainable and was discouraging doctors from taking on extra shifts.

The scheme will now be extended to April 2017 in order to allow GPs to work extra shifts over the Easter Bank Holiday without having to face additional indemnity costs.

The scheme has made an initial £30 million available in 2016/17 to cover indemnity costs, while the Department of Health and NHS England work on plans to reform the indemnity system. Shares of another £30 million will follow for 2017/18.

Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of GPs (RCGP), praised the scheme, saying: ‘The rising cost of indemnity is a huge concern for GPs right across the UK, so we’re pleased that this sch...