Commenting, Simon Kayll, CEO at the Medical Protection Society (MPS), said:
“The UK Government’s decision last year to change the discount rate in Wales and England significantly increased the cost of settling claims with an element of future care costs or loss of earnings, at a time when the cost of clinical negligence was already becoming unsustainable.
“A state-backed indemnity scheme for GP’s in Wales, to protect them from the increased costs, will be welcome news to many GPs, and reflects the changing nature of primary care. The fact that it will be aligned with the state-backed scheme announced for England, and rolled out at the same time, is also positive.
“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. MPS will continue to provide this support for GPs, just as we have for hospital doctors since NHS indemnity was introduced for them in 1990.
“In the meantime, it is vital that GPs in Wales and England maintain their existing membership to ensure they have protection that meets their needs now and into the future.”
Notes to editors
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