Soaring Indemnity Costs Hit GPs’ OOH

The cost of GPs’ medical indemnity is so high that it is having a direct impact on doctors’ availability out-of-hours.
A survey of 430 family doctors by Urgent Health UK found the detrimental impact high clinical indemnity costs are having on the out-of-hours sector.
79% said clinical indemnity premiums were limiting the number of out-of-hours shifts they did.
The group – which is the federation of social enterprises delivering out-of-hospital urgent care – is now appealing for all key stakeholders to work together to develop a solution as a priority, which will benefit the NHS, and patient care.
GPs’ responses were:
• 79% said clinical indemnity premiums were limiting the number of out-of-hours shifts they do
• 68% said they would consider reducing or stopping out-of-hours shifts if premiums went up any more
• 55% said that they were concerned their indemnity might not provide adequate cover for all their shifts
Urgent Health UK boss Dr John Horrocks said: ‘This survey highlights the very difficult position out-of-hours GPs and our members are in.
‘Already across the country, many providers of out-of-hours care are struggling to fill rotas due to a range of workforce issues including the high cost of indemnity; we simply cannot afford for this situation to continue, particularly as we head towards the winter period when pressure on services is even greater.’
‘I am aware that NHS England is looking closely into this crucial issue and I hope urgent action is taken to resolve it.’
Urgent Health UK chair Dr Simon Abrams called the findings ‘alarming.’
He said: ‘With the right support, out-of-hours services can significantly help to ease the pressure faced by many parts of the NHS. There is no doubt that the cost of clinical indemnity is a major barrier to enabling out-of-hours services to fulfil their potential, and this is damaging for the patient experience.’
‘We are committed to working with GPs, medical defence organisations and the wider insurance industry, and NHS officials to find an effective solution to this issue.’
25 AUGUST 2015

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