NHS England have announced that from April 2017, sickness cover for GP’s will be a practice entitlement, rather than a discretionary payment. This change is part of contract changes across the board when a GP is absent from the practice due to sickness.
An amount of up to £1,734.18 per week can be claimed by the practice to go towards the cost of employing a locum, or increasing the hours or other part-time GP’s to cover the workload of the absentee.
The GP needs to have been absent for two weeks before the practice can claim the reimbursement from NHS England. However, after this initial period, payments will be made for 26 weeks in full and then reduced by 50 percent for another 26 weeks, to total a potential year of benefits.
Do you still need Locum Insurance?
Some GP practice owners have questioned if they no longer need Locum Insurance.
For comprehensive cover, Locum Insurance is still essential as it covers a number of benefits that the new GP sickness cover reimbursement will not include.
If a GP is away from work for non-sickness relates reasons, then it is only Locum cover that will be able to pay-out. This could include compassionate leave or Jury service.
Additionally, the GP sickness cover reimbursement is likely to be less, financially, than the claim you can make through your Locum cover.
Locum insurance also doesn’t just cover if one of your GP’s is absent from work. It also covers your key personnel, for example your PA’s and nurses, which the GP sickness cover does not.
The GP sickness cover will be a welcomed addition for practice owners to ensure they get financial support when one of their GP’s are taken sick. It shouldn’t though be looked at for a replacement to Locum insurance. Here is why.
Benefits of Locum insurance for a GP practice
Locum insurance is highly valuable to a GP practice as it provides the peace of mind of continuity should you, another doctor or one of your key staff members be unable to work.
Locum cover ensures you can meet:
- The ongoing financial obligations to paying staff
- The ongoing financial obligations of paying rent/mortgage
- The ongoing financial obligations of paying business loans
- The ongoing financial obligations of paying equipment lease agreements
- The ongoing commitment you may have to your NHS contract
All Med Pro provide comprehensive Locum Cover for GPs. It insures the individual(s) named on the policy against accident and sickness, paying a monetary benefit to the practice to cover the cost of hiring a locum.
Looking for a GP Locum insurance policy?
Our comprehensive Locum insurance policy typically covers a 52 week period, although it is possible to insure longer or shorter periods, if required.
There is usually a deferment period, which affects the policy premium, as can claim history.
Our standard policy provides cover for Temporary Total Disablement claims however, we can incorporate, if required:
- Temporary Partial Disablement Cover
- PermanentTotal Disablement Cover
- Accidental Death Cover
The policy has a range of additional covers built in as well.
“If the business is able to continue trading and seeing patients, then the surgery continues to generate the same level of revenue. As the revenue remains the same the partners are also able to generate the same level of personal income as usual as profits are unaffected” Tom Chaston, Director