Changes to the General Medical Services contract in April 2017 has increased the maximum payment of the NHS reimbursement scheme and made the eligibility process simpler. This is great news for NHS medical practices who can get additional support for locum cover if a GP is on long term leave.
What’s the Deal Now?
The scheme currently reimburses NHS practices up to £1,734.18 per week (for the first 26 weeks, then half for another 26 weeks) to pay for a locum in the event of a GP being on sick leave. There are alternative payments for parental leave.
There are a few key things to remember about the reimbursement scheme:
- This only applies to NHS medical practices
- Not all cases of leave are covered, such as jury service and suspension
- Other key staff are not covered, such as practice managers
- The cost of a locum can be around £2,500 per week.
In the case of private practices, locum insurance is a good option to consider. However, for NHS practices who are eligible for the reimbursement scheme, top up insurance is ideal to manage the difference between the reimbursement pay out and the actual costs to hire a locum.
Top Up Insurance
If your top up insurance cover level for a GP on long term sick leave is £2,500 for 52 weeks with a nil excess period, in the event of a claim, your payments for a locum (assuming the cost is the full £2,500) would look something like this.
NHS scheme: £1,734.18 per week
Top up insurance: £765.82 per week
NHS scheme: £867.09 per week
Top up scheme: £1,632.91 per week
When you see the numbers, you realise how much your potential losses are if you only rely on the support provided by the NHS contract.
Benefits of Top Up and Locum Insurance
You do not want your practice to be insured for what is already covered under the NHS reimbursement scheme. That is why our locum insurance can be flexible in terms of excess period and length of time you are covered for. For personnel included in the scheme, you can acquire top up insurance to cover the difference in the pay out and actual costs to hire a locum.
Additionally, locum insurance can include cover for key persons that are not practice GPs.
These people are also imperative to the smooth running of your surgery but the cost for temporarily replacing them in the case of long term leave would not be covered by the reimbursement scheme.
In terms of costs, linking locum insurance with the benefits of the NHS reimbursement scheme will reduce your premium as the value of any claim would be will be less.
Combined with your general locum insurance, top up insurance is an ideal way to tailor your policy to your specific needs. With many options and cover levels available for your locum insurance policy, you can ensure that your practice is fully covered for all eventualities.
Contact the All Med Pro specialists to help you find the right level of locum or top up insurance cover for your practice.