The Medical Defence Union (MDU) will be reducing indemnity subscriptions for GPs and primary care staff working in England by around 50% ahead of anticipated government support with indemnity costs.
Following today’s announcement by Jeremy Hunt, the MDU is contacting all its GP members working under an NHS England contract with some good news. From 1 November 2017, members renewing their membership and those joining the MDU, will see subscription quotes around 50% lower than current levels. This reflects the MDU’s expectation that claims arising from NHS primary care provided since the announcement, will, in due course be picked up by the new NHS scheme. In this transitional period, members can continue to report claims to the MDU as normal and all other benefits of membership are unaffected. The discounted subscriptions apply to the whole practice team for work under an NHS England contract.
The MDU has been campaigning for change through its Save General Practice campaign. With a state-backed scheme for GP claims around the corner, the MDU says now is the time to support GPs and primary care staff with cheaper indemnity costs.
Dr Christine Tomkins, MDU chief executive, explained:
“We are pleased to see the Government’s announcement today of a state-backed indemnity scheme for general practice in England. To be workable, the scheme will not only need to pick up new GP claims, but also claims costs which have not already been paid for GPs working under an NHS England contract.
“This will be a welcome development for GPs, especially those who have taken part in our Save General Practice campaign and helped to bring about this change. In the meantime, we want to pass on to our primary care members in England, some of the savings we anticipate will follow the scheme’s introduction. This means significantly reduced subscriptions for our members working in primary care in England, which is great news at a time when GPs are struggling with indemnity costs.”
The transitional benefits offered to GP members will allow them to seek assistance and indemnity for claims arising from incidents which happen in the period between the announcement and the launch of the scheme, provided they remain an active paying member. Members who retire or leave in the transitional period will need to apply for extended benefit rights until the new scheme is introduced. The MDU will continue to support all GP members with other medico-legal issues such as assistance with the GMC, criminal investigations, inquests or disciplinary hearings on its traditional basis, regardless of whether this relates to work under an NHS England contract.
MDU GP members working in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales are not affected by the change as, to date, no state indemnity plans have been announced in these areas.
Details of the new transitional benefits are available at: www.themdu.com/transition
Find out more about the MDU's announcement by attending Dr Matthew Lee's talk at the RCGP conference, Mini Theatre 2 at 12:50pm.
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