Commenting on the GP contract agreement for 2019/20, Andrew Pow, board member of the Association of Independent Specialist Medical Accountants, said:
‘There is much to be welcomed in the new contract with almost £1bn extra in core funding for practices in England across five years. There are, however, some issues that we are viewing more cautiously, notably the new state-backed indemnity scheme.
‘The indemnity scheme will be funded by a one-off permanent deduction from the global sum and will cover all GPs and staff, including locum doctors. Since locums will no longer need to pay for their own indemnity cover they have been asked to consider their rates. If locum rates do not reflect the new indemnity arrangement GP partners will be pick up the cost twice; once through the reduction in the global sum and again through the locum fee. AISMA raised this during discussions with NHS England and the BMA. Urgent guidance is required on setting responsible locum fees.
‘Also needed will be guidance on the legal and pension structures of Primary Care Networks so that it is clear where responsibility for contracting and employment rests.’
Andrew Pow is available for further comments on 07957 585808