Indemnity insurance deal could cut GPs' costs

Out-of-hours providers are signing deals with private insurance firms to reduce GPs' soaring indemnity fees and attract more doctors into the service.

Insurance deal. From left: Kevin Culliney, Lockton; Chris Gamber, Beazley Lloyd’s; John Harrison, Vocare.
Insurance deal. From left: Kevin Culliney, Lockton; Chris Gamber, Beazley Lloyd’s; John Harrison, Vocare.

A deal signed by provider group Vocare through insurance broker Lockton will mean GPs no longer have to pay a premium on their indemnity to work out of hours, because this fee will be covered through the provider’s new insurance firm Beazley Lloyd.

Recent reports suggest some GPs have faced premiums of up to £30,000 from medical indemnity organisations. GP leaders believe the costs are putting doctors off of out-of-hours work and have called on the NHS to cover unsustainable costs.

GPonline reported earlier this year that one in three GPs say their medical indemnity fees have risen 20% in the past five years.

GP indemnity

Chief executive of Vocare, John Harrison, said: ‘Medical indemnity should be based on a provider’s record and quality of performance, rather than a focus on the risk of rare cases that may have significant financial consequences. Lockton undertook a thorough and full audit of our services and the outcome shows that we are performing to the highest standards.

‘The current arrangement for indemnity cover is preventing flexibility in out-of-hours work when we need more GPs doing this work. This new agreement will attract more GPs to work in out-of-hours services and, ultimately, is great news for patients around the country.’

Last week a GPonline survey revealed that 90% of GPs believe their legal fees should be covered by crown indemnity in line with NHS employed staff.

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