Hospital Dr News

Welsh Government to introduce state backed indemnity scheme following English move

The Welsh Government is to introduce a state backed scheme to provide clinical negligence indemnity for GPs and primary healthcare staff in Wales.

The deal ‘will be aligned as far as possible’ to the state-backed indemnity package due to take effect in England at the same time, said Welsh health secretary Vaughan Gething.

Wales has taken the decision to match the indemnity offer being rolled out in England in April 2019 amid concerns that soaring costs could drive GPs out of the profession, and because a less favourable deal on indemnity in Wales could undermine recruitment and cross-border NHS work.

Details of the indemnity model for England are expected to be unveiled this month.

Dr Christine Tomkins, MDU chief executive, said the announcement “comes not a moment too soon”.

She said: “With a similar scheme also due to be introduced in April 2019 for GPs in England, it is only fair that Welsh GPs benefit from same support with spiralling indemnity costs, which are not of their making.

“We are looking forward to working with the Welsh government to ensure the scheme is comprehensive and effective.”

Simon Kayll, CEO at the Medical Protection Society, added: “The state-backed scheme will not however solve the underlying issue of rising clinical negligence costs. The cost of claims will always need to be paid for, and will continue to increase unless the root of the issue is tackled through legal reform.

“With less than a year to go until the new scheme is set to start, it is important that the details around cost, scope, and how it will operate are finalised and communicated swiftly – to ensure a smooth transition and give GPs in Wales and England certainty that the scheme meets their needs.

“We do know that the new GP schemes in Wales and England will not include assistance with complaints, GMC inquiries, inquests, disciplinary proceedings or indemnity for non-NHS work and this clarity is welcome.”

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