Industry News
State-backed indemnity scheme to cover 'all GPs for all NHS work'

 

 

The ‘state-backed’ indemnity scheme will be open to all GPs, including locums and sessional work, for all NHS work, the health secretary has announced. 

 

The scheme will be available in April 2019, health secretary Jeremy Hunt told delegates at today’s RCGP Conference in Liverpool, alongside an announcement that he was expanding the £20,000 ‘golden hello’ scheme and was looking into regulating physician associates.

 

He added that it will be available to locums and sessional GPs, but stopped short of promising it would be for all practice staff.

 

Pulse had previously reported that the scheme would cover all practice staff, but Mr Hunt said this was not the case.

 

He was asked by Dr Richard Vautrey, chair of the BMA’s GP Committee, whether the scheme would include all practice staff and locums.

 

Mr Hunt replied: 'I can give the commitment it will be for doctors working in general practice. The wider commitments, I would love to be able to give you, but I don’t know the answers. I don’t want to promise something I will have to retract later.’

 

Earlier in his speech, he had said the scheme ’will take time to introduce’.

 

He said: ’It will take us 18 months. We need to negotiate with the BMA and the medical defence organisations. It will be introduced in this year’s contract discussions.

 

’It will be more affordable and reliable for you. We’ll have control of variables that makes indemnity fees fluctuate… I hope this will give some stability.’

 

The announcement of the scheme follows pressure from the profession and Pulse to tackle the problem of rising indemnity fees.

 

GP leaders gave the announcement a cautious welcome, but said more details on funding and who it will cover was needed.

 

Pulse last week delivered a letter to the Department of Health signed by more than 300 GPs calling on the Government to ‘fully reimburse the cost of GP indemnity’.

 

The BMA’s GP Committee warned earlier this year that rising indemnity costs were set to make the profession ‘untenable’, especially with potential changes to the size of compensation payouts.

 

But in a statement today, the DH said that it is looking at a ‘long-term solution’.

It said: ‘The Government is planning to develop a state-backed indemnity scheme for GPs, to protect them from the costs of clinical negligence claims, subject to further work on relevant issues.

 

’Our ambition is to provide a more stable and affordable system for GPs. The scheme could provide financially sustainable cover for claims arising from the delivery of NHS services.’

 

Source: pulsetoday.co.uk

 

 
Advice for Practices on employers pension contributions
2013/04/18

From 1 April 2013, GP practices will take over responsibility for funding employer’s pension contributions for the locums they use which have until now been paid by Primary Care Organisations (PCO).

On top of any locum fees, practices are required to pay the 14% employer’s pension contribution for the period paid for by the practice when the locum GP is contributing to the NHS pension scheme.

Although practice funding is being increased as a result of these changes, the actual employer contribution will be paid through the locum. Locums themselves will be responsible for making the payments to the Area Team at the same time as they pay their employee contributions. The Department of Health has stated that it expects locums to increase their fees as a result.  

This applies to any contracts already agreed with locums for work from April onwards; the locum will add the 14% to any previously agreed charges on their invoice. Legally, the practice is liable to pay the 14%, not the individual partner requiring locum cover. The Pensions Agency has said that they will report any practices refusing to pay the 14% contribution to the Pensions Regulator. Failure to pay could result in legal action.

Please note that the employer’s pension contribution is based on the locum’s pensionable income only, which is 90% of their total fee. The remaining 10% is regarded as covering expenses. Once they have been paid by a practice, the locum must then make the payment to the NHS Commissioning Board; they cannot keep the fee.

Locum GPs who are not part of the NHS pension scheme will not receive the employer’s contributions. The change does not affect locum GPs who work through locum agencies that are not recognised NHS employing authorities and who therefore cannot pension their income. Similarly, individual locums trading as limited companies cannot pension their income.

The change to employer’s pension contributions will not affect the current arrangements for longer term locums. After 6 months of continuous work with a practice, the locum is regarded as a Type 2 Practitioner for the purposes of the pension scheme. The practice then administers and pays their pension contributions as they would for a salaried GP. Locum forms A and B cannot be used in this situation.

 
GP Vacancy Rates Doubling in Just Two Years
2013/02/28

The NHS is facing a “workforce crisis”, with GP vacancy rates doubling at the very least in just two years, doctors are warning.

Large numbers of senior doctors are retiring early while surgeries are finding it hard to tempt medicine graduates to be family doctors, they say.

The result is a looming crisis at a time Britain needs more GPs than ever to care for its ageing population.

Pulse magazine found the GP vacancy rate had risen from 4.2 per cent in 2011 to 7.9 per cent this January. The official GP vacancy rate was 2.1 per cent at the start of 2011.

In addition, GP surgeries are spending almost 20 per cent more on locums than two years ago because they cannot fill their posts with permanent staff.

Source: www.telegraph.co.uk

 


 
Tenders for APMS services in Bedfordshire
2013/02/26

Type of document: Contract Notice
Country: United Kingdom
OJEU Ref: (13/S 40-64378/EN)
Nature of contract: Service contract
Procedure: Restricted procedure
Regulation of procurement: EU - with participation by GPA countries
Award criteria: Most economic bid
Type of bid required: Mixed global and partial bid
Contract notice
Services
Directive 2004/18/EC

 


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