Passing on indemnity reimbursement to locum GPs

NASGP's online invoicing system to include facility for locums to add inflationary increase to invoices from April 2017 if no mechanism is identified to reimburse locums directly.

From April 2017, GP practices in England and Wales will begin to receive reimbursement for inflationary increases in medical indemnity costs based on list size, to be redistributed by the practice, as appropriate, to locum and salaried GPs.

However, based on our experience of some members being coerced by a minority of practices to not invoice practices for employer's pension contributions, NASGP's online invoicing system will be customised to automatically allow its members to incorporate an amount for this into their invoices if NHS England cannot otherwise find a solution that reimburses locum GPs directly e.g. direct to the locum or their medical defence organisation.

NASGP's solution is very much a plan B, since not only does it potentially introduce more complexity for practices and locums, it will also end up costing practices more since it will mean the practice's NHS pension employer's contribution will be based on an amount that includes the indemnity reimbursement.

NASGP Chairman Dr Richard Fieldhouse said "We really do appreciate that this funding to reimburse GPs is going ahead, in particular the sentiment that this funding extends to salaried and locum GPs too. But to reimburse the defence organisations directly - in effect, freezing medical indemnity fees at their current level - would not only avoid further over-burdening practices wit more bureaucracy, but also reassure overstretched GPs that there's not going to be any more nasty rise in costs in the future."

Meanwhile, the NASGP will lobby for direct reimbursement of locum GPs or their defence organisations so that the money reaches the intended target and has the desired effect of maximising the number of available GP sessions.

Richard has worked as a freelance GP locum since 1995 in around 100 different practices, living and working in West Sussex and Hampshire. He founded NASGP in ‘1997 and the UK’s first locum chambers in 2004, and leaving the chambers in 2017.

He enjoys walking, reads too many books on behavioural economics and has an unhealthy obsession with his sourdough starter.

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