The government’s new NHS indemnity scheme is set to launch on 1st April. If you intend to switch to this cover, or have already purchased an alternative discount policy, read this to make sure you’re fully protected.
Discounted indemnity policy – what does it mean?
When health secretary, Jeremy Hunt announced a new state-backed indemnity scheme for NHS workers in 2017, it led to the introduction of a new insurance product to complement this, with hefty discounts on typical indemnity insurance costs.
It is important to remember that these discounted policies are different terms to full cover, and are not a discount on the same level of cover as your existing policy. So before you switch to one of these options, check it gives you the level of protection you need.
For example, often these policies do not include run-off cover or medico-legal support. The thinking behind the lower level of cover was that the government scheme would provide protection for these areas. However, it looks like that this won’t be the case.
What does the NHS scheme cover?
The NHS Scheme for England Wales will provide a level of medical indemnity cover for primary medical service providers, including practice staff, salaried and locum GPs, out of hours, practice pharmacists, nurses and healthcare assistants.
This is great news for NHS professionals who have been given an additional level of support from the government and protection of their career, at no extra cost.
The scheme will not cover:
- General Medical Council (GMC) proceedings
- Professional regulation
- Court proceedings
- Disciplinary proceedings
- Private work
The Department of Health has warned that the scheme will not provide run-off cover, so “GPs with claims-paid or claims-made indemnity policies would therefore be required to purchase such cover separately themselves at the point they move to a state-backed scheme.”
Therefore, this also means that if you choose to purchase any discounted cover, you will need to also get a specific run-off cover, at a cost of between £500 and £1,500 per year. Remember that this additional cost will be on-going as retrospective claims can occur years after the incident.
All Med Pro’s recommendations
If you plan to take advantage of the government-backed indemnity scheme from April, our recommendation to our clients is to have in place a robust run-off insurance policy to pick up any retrospective claim from 1st April 2019.
It is also vitally important that healthcare professionals arrange medico-legal cover to cover issues such as GMC hearings and disciplinary hearings.
As a guide, example medico-legal rates with All Med Pro for GPs with effect from 1st April 2019 are:
- No Medical Negligence or Medico-Legal Claims – £995.00
- Medical Negligence and/or Medico-Legal Claims – £1195.00
If you have had a claim with DAS or BLM in last 12 months, speak to one of our specialist advisers.
If you are unsure if you have the level of cover you need, or are working out the most cost-effective way to be fully indemnified, speak to one of our specialist advisers today.