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How will state-backed GP indemnity affect careers?

Dr Jon Craig, medical director - urgent care, at Greenbrook Healthcare, explains what he thinks the introduction of state-backed indemnity will mean for GPs' career opportunities and what it is like working in his organisation.

What is state-backed GP indemnity?

State-backed GP indemnity is a new scheme covering GP medical malpractice claims. It replaces the main need for GPs to hold their own MDU/MPS/MDDUS cover for work in general practice or other primary care services.

The scheme - aka the Clinical Negligence Scheme for General Practice (CNSGP) - is managed by NHS Resolution, which also manages the similar scheme for hospitals called the Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts (CNST). The two schemes offer very similar levels of cover, offering an indemnity for care delivered by all clinicians working in a qualifying service. For more information about CNSGP visit the NHS Resolution website.

What does it mean for practices and GPs?

This new scheme means that individual GPs or GP practices do not need to organise and pay for their own medical indemnity cover, apart from for private work or to cover some of the things that the CNSGP or CNST do not cover (for example GMC hearings, inquests and Good Samaritan acts).

It is important that GPs remain aware of the limitations of CNSGP and should carefully consider retaining ‘professional’ cover with a medical defence organisation (such as MDU/MPS/MDDUS). This is available at a significantly lower rate than malpractice cover.

How has the change affected GPs at Greenbrook?

The big advantage so far is that GPs no longer have to think about the cost and practicalities of organising indemnity cover when deciding to work in Greenbrook’s urgent treatment centres. This applies equally to GPs wanting to work more (or fewer) hours as an employed GP, or whether to work a few extra locum shifts.

In the past, GPs were put off working additional hours in urgent care because of the extra indemnity cost – but that is no longer the case. In addition, you don’t have the worry and stress of ensuring you have all of the cover for all of your hours – particularly if they change often.

How will the move affect GP careers?

In both the short and the long term it will allow GPs to work more flexibly – working in different types of general practice and primary care more broadly.

In the longer term I think we will see a further increase in the number of GPs doing portfolio work, splitting their days between traditional general practice, urgent care work and other work. The flexibility of this scheme no longer disincentivises GPs from doing primary care work in alternative settings.

The high cost of getting indemnity cover for urgent care work was a major barrier to GPs working in urgent care – this has now been removed so it is a big help. We have already seen increased interest in working in our urgent treatment centres as a result of this change and we expect that it will significantly help recruitment in services such as ours.

Dr Jon Craig: 'The changes with the state-backed indemnity scheme mean that more GPs can try out and develop a career in urgent care.'

What are you doing at Greenbrook Healthcare to take advantage of the scheme and communicate it to your GPs?

We have communicated with all of our current GPs about the new scheme so that they can understand what it means for them. We are talking to GPs who we know had previously limited their urgent care work because of the cost of indemnity and making sure that they can now do this work without having to bear a large increase in the their indemnity costs.

We have also reviewed all our job adverts to include information about it. This interview is also a way of trying to raise awareness more broadly!

What roles are you recruiting for and what do they involve?

Greenbrook Healthcare is the leading provider of urgent treatment centres to the NHS and we are looking for GPs to work in our services. These busy urgent care services, often co-located with A&E but run independently from it, see, treat and discharge minor injury and illness patients.

Greenbrook Healthcare GPs work in multi-disciplinary teams, together with emergency nurse practitioners, to care for minor illnesses. Greenbrook is passionate about excellent patient care and we believe in strong clinical leadership – which means that we are also often on the look-out for clinical leaders for our services.

We have services across London and a mix of roles – from weekday sessions to weekend and overnight ones. We like to recruit GPs into salaried positions, but we know that many GPs like to work on a more flexible/locum basis and we can also accommodate this.

Why should GPs consider working for Greenbrook Healthcare, especially in light of changes to indemnity?

Greenbrook Healthcare is a great career choice because we are a clinically led organisation with a close-knit team of highly dedicated staff committed to delivering excellent care to our patients. We believe in supporting clinicians to be able to focus on the best care they can to patients, and in developing staff – whether that is to help them continually improve as clinicians or to become leaders and managers.

The changes with the state-backed indemnity scheme mean that more GPs can try out and develop a career in urgent care without having to organise and bear high indemnity costs.

Top tips for GPs:

  • The beauty of this scheme is that you don’t need to do anything in particular to sign up.

  • If you are unsure whether the work is covered by CNSGP then ask the provider and they will be able to tell you.

  • Be careful as not all work that GPs do is automatically covered. For example, Greenbrook sought and received specific assurance from NHS England and NHS Resolution that all its services are covered.

What is it like to work at Greenbrook Healthcare?

Greenbrook Healthcare is the leading provider of primary care led urgent care centres in and around London. As a GP working with us you will have the opportunity to develop your skills working alongside emergency nurse practitioners and seeing a wide variety of patient presentations.

We’re committed to putting patients first and delivering high quality patient care. We’re a clinically led organisation with a supportive operational team to ensure your time is spent treating your patients.

Although the patients you’ll see will remain within your skillset as a GP, it's a different working environment to traditional GP Practice – there is more team working and you’ll have more time with your patients. There is also minimal paperwork compared to normal GP work.

We offer flexible working to fit around your commitments. Permanent GPs have access to the NHS pension scheme, up to six weeks annual leave and one week’s study leave plus other benefits. We can also offer guaranteed sessions to independent GPs (via service level agreements) and regular ad-hoc sessions for self-employed GPs (bank shifts). In short, we can find the work to suit you.

As a Greenbrook GP, you’ll have the option to work from any of our services, creating a portfolio role to suit you.

For more information about Greenbrook Healthcare please visit www.greenbrook.nhs.uk or https://careers.greenbrook.nhs.uk.

Greenbrook Healthcare is currently recruiting for a range of GP roles including:

Apply for a GP job at Greenbrook Healthcare

This article was sponsored by Greenbrook Healthcare

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