NHS England has, further to its GP Indemnity Review into compensate for 'indemnity inflation', has now said:
- The payment "...is intended to be used for all GP staff, not limited to just Partner GPs".
- The payment scheme will initially run for two years, based on the average annual inflationary rises experienced by GPs.
- Payments go direct to the practice, and not to the individual GP.
- The total cost of the scheme will be based on the average annual inflationary rises experienced by all GPs over the preceding year.
- Payments for indemnity costs that will be made based on registered patients at 51.6p per patient.
- We can't see any suggestion that this will be rolled out to Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales.
Bearing in mind that since practices are being funded per patient, if they're using locums, they are getting the funding to then pass on to their GP locums.
NB do not use the 'indemnity inflation' figure to directly calculate your new rate - it needs to be applied indirectly and based on your current sessional rate.
So what should GP locums working in practices in England now be doing?
Based on our intelligence, the typical rise in medical indemnity fees for the 2016-17 period in somewhere between 10% and 20%, and so it's quite likely that the indemnity payments coming in April 2017 will reflect that.
Our advice is to consider including a rise in your 2017/18 rates to compensate for the indemnity inflation from 2016/17.
Calculating your personal indemnity inflation for the period 2016/17
We've created our own NASGP locum indemnity inflation calculator (need to sign in - free NASGP associate membership) which works out your personal indemnity inflation figure, then uses that figure to calculate what sort of rise you might wish to add when considering your annual fee review.
If you do intend to factor in this indemnity payment into your rates, it's worth informing practices as soon as possible. Since the exact figure hasn't yet been announced, you may want to frame the rise based on the final published rate rather than a provisional figure of 10%.
In terms of how locums should add this extra amount to their invoice, Liz Densley, medical specialist partner with Sussex Chartered Accountants, Honey Barrett, and secretary of the Association of Independent Specialist Medical Accountants, says that from an accounting point of view, it’s easiest for any rise in your rates that reflects this to form part of the sessional/hourly rate rather than be added as a separate amount.
Suggested wording to practice manager
Subject to NHS England's GP Indemnity Review, and the forthcoming payment to all practices in England (based on each practices number of patients) intended to compensate "... all GP staff, not limited to just partner GPs", I will be making an additional increase in my session rates of
These figures are based on NASGP's locum indemnity inflation calculator that takes into account my professional indemnity costs over the last two years.