There has been a 25% increase in GPs’ indemnity costs in the last 12 months, a survey from the Family Doctor Association has revealed.
In 2015 the average (four hour) session cost for their members was £1,320, increasing from £869 in 2014. This equates to £11,320 per year for a 10 session week.
Most GPs in the survey were covered by either the Medical Protection Society, the Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland and the Medical Defence Union, however two respondents have 100% insurance-based cover (with MIA and Towergate) paying the highest fees of £15,000 with a £25,000 per claim excess.
Responding to the survey Dr Peter Swinyard, the national chairman of the Family Doctor Association, said: “It is grossly unfair that indemnity cover for NHS work is only paid personally by GPs. All hospital staff enjoy cover from the Crown Indemnity scheme, although many ‘top-up’ their cover through the mutuals.
“Insurance in the open market is prohibitively expensive and has caused the retirement of doctors who cannot afford the fees or the risk of the excess payments.”
In the next five years over a third (34%) of GPs were considering retiring from general practice a British Medical Association poll of more than 15,000 found in April.
Swinyard is calling for NHS England to bring GP cover in line with that of hospitals.