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  • Winter pressures prompts relaxation of QOF requirements in Wales

    Winter pressures prompts relaxation of QOF requirements in Wales

    Tuesday, 09 January 2018 11:53
  • ABPI responds to BMJ article on CCGs not declaring all funding from private organisations

    ABPI responds to BMJ article on CCGs not declaring all funding from private organisations

    Monday, 08 January 2018 14:22
  • CCGs failed to disclose £3.7m in payments and gifts from private companies

    CCGs failed to disclose £3.7m in payments and gifts from private companies

    Thursday, 04 January 2018 12:14
  • General practice payments increase 5.9% in Scotland in 2016-17

    General practice payments increase 5.9% in Scotland in 2016-17

    Monday, 13 November 2017 10:32

a pound imageOctober 4 2017

NHS England has committed £10 million to support its winter indemnity scheme for out-of-hours GP services. 

The scheme commenced on October the first and will run until after the Easter weekend, April 2 2018. It means “doctors can commit to more OOH sessions without the need for them to negotiate additional changes to their level of indemnity cover,” said NHS England.

It estimated that an additional 80,000 GP sessions took place as a result of the scheme last winter. The money is being made available due to concerns that the increasing cost of indemnity is a barrier to delivering care; the money will “help with immediate out-of-hours provision such as shifts for NHS 111 services.”

Medical defence organisations (MDOs) have worked with NHS England to develop the scheme. “GPs who wish to commit to working additional sessions will agree a likely number of OOH sessions they will work over the period with their OOH provider. Once confirmed, GPs will be able to approach their MDOs to access a bespoke package, funded by NHS England, which would give the doctor cover for their additional commitment to the service,” said NHS England.

The GP defence organisation MDDUS said it was pleased to support NHS England’s GP winter indemnity scheme for the third consecutive year. MDDUS Director of Development David Sturgeon said: “The scheme has had a positive effect in previous years and last winter over 280 MDDUS members providing in excess of 11,000 sessions to out of hours and unscheduled care services.

“We would encourage our GP members wanting to access the scheme to check with their local OOH/unscheduled care provider to determine what additional shift cover is required and then sign up for the scheme on the MDDUS website.

The MDU has also welcomed the renewal of the scheme funding, but called for a “permanent solution to unaffordable costs.”

MDU professional services director Dr Matthew Lee said: “For the third year, the scheme provides a temporary respite from indemnity costs for GPs working extra out-of-hours sessions. But this can't continue. Medical inflation continues to spiral, made even worse by the discount rate drop, and GPs just cannot afford to pay for indemnity. We urgently need a long-term solution.”

The BMA’s GP committee chair, Dr Richard Vautrey, commented: “This funding is recognition of the pressures that the services will be under and the need to support GPs who work out of hours.

“It is something that the BMA has been pushing for, for some time, and we have been concerned about the delay to the announcement. But nevertheless, it will give some short-term confidence for GPs working in out-of-hours urgent care organisations. It is clear, however, that GPs need a long-term solution to the indemnity crisis, and this is something which the BMA is continuing to lobby the Government on.”

Links:
NHS England announcement     
NHS England Winter indemnity scheme for GPs – 2017    
MDDUS comment            
MDU comment                  
BMA comment 

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