Changes to GP indemnity: a new state-backed scheme starting in April 2019

Solving indemnity costs has been a top priority for the NHS – the lack of a permanent solution until now has been a hindrance to recruitment, retention and filling out-of-hours rotas.

The announcement on general practice indemnity brings a permanent solution to indemnity costs and coverage with the launch of the Government’s new Clinical Negligence Scheme for General Practice. The CNSGP is set out in the five-year framework for GP contract reform to deliver on the NHS Long Term Plan, agreed by NHS England and the BMA General Practitioners Committee, and published on 31 January 2019.

The CNSGP will start from 1 April 2019 and will be operated by NHS Resolution; the costs of the scheme will be met by NHS England through a centrally-held primary care allocation.

So, who will be covered by the new indemnity scheme?

  • All GPs: partners, salaried GPs, locums, prison GPs and including out-of-hours cover.
  • Nurses and Allied Health Professionals.

Beneficiaries of the scheme will be covered automatically from 1 April 2019. It  will apply to in-scope incidents occurring on or after 1 April.

According to NHS Resolution, “professionals who have an indemnity cover that goes beyond 1 April should contact their existing providers for information about reimbursements. This is a change to information provided on 31 January 2019 that the scheme will come into effect from the date at which any current indemnity arrangements expire, following further consideration with stakeholders.”

What’s not covered under the scheme?

Practices and staff will need to take out separate medical defence organisation cover for professional practice, additional advisory services, and private work.

And who will cover any historical claims?

We await clarification on what will happen to historical claims. Much depends on whether a GP has indemnity cover provided by a medical defence organisation or whether the cover is by way of a policy sourced in the commercial insurance market. The latter usually provide ‘claims made’ policies and there will need to be guidance on how existing liabilities will be covered. 

NHS Resolution has produced a web-page for up-to-date information on the new scheme and which will be updated regularly. You can view this here.

Do get in touch with Dawn Brathwaite if you have any questions about the new scheme.

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