A major obstacle to more GPs working for out-of-hours providers has been cleared with an innovative new agreement which means that they will no longer have to pay a premium on their own indemnity insurance.
Vocare, a leading provider of outsourced quality clinical healthcare services to the NHS, has sought help from the world’s largest privately owned independent insurance brokerage firm, Lockton, in a bid to level the playing field and encourage more GPs to take up out-of-hours work.
Currently GPs must pay as much as £30,000 per year for indemnity if they work for an out-of-hours service. This has led to a chronic shortage of GPs in out-of-hours services.
With the current system, only doctors employed by the NHS have their indemnity covered by Crown Indemnity. Any work outside of the NHS, requires personal medical insurance to be taken out.
Through the new agreement, 'Out of Hours', GPs will no longer have to pay a premium on their own indemnity and Vocare will cover the costs of their indemnity for out-of-hours work.
'Out of Hours' will help relieve some of the pressure on A&E departments, walk-in clinics and NHS 111 services that are suffering from a shortage of skilled GPs and Vocare now expects to see more GPs come forward.
John Harrison, Chief Executive of Vocare, commented: "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."
Kevin Culliney, Head of Healthcare at Lockton, said: "'Out of Hours' is a truly new offering in the marketplace and is something we have been developing over the last three years. Lockton will be working very closely with Vocare to enable them to provide more GPs for out-of-hours work at no extra cost to the GPs themselves. The UK is currently battling a GP crisis and this innovative new product will hopefully go some way to providing an effective solution."
Vocare will provide their GPs with the required indemnity through the new arrangement between Lockton and the Beazley Lloyd's insurance syndicate.