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Department of Health written question – answered on 14th July 2017.

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Photo of Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Shadow Spokesperson (Cabinet Office), Shadow Spokesperson (Health), Shadow Spokesperson (Education)

Her Majesty's Government whether they plan to provide financial support to general practitioners to meet the increase in indemnity costs as a result of the change to the discount rate on personal injury payouts.

Photo of Lord O'Shaughnessy Lord O'Shaughnessy The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

The cost of indemnity to general practitioners (GPs) is already recognised as a business expense, and reflected in the sums received by GP practices via the GP contract. In recognition of the rising costs of indemnity, NHS England put an extra £30 million in to the GP contract in March 2017 to cover indemnity-related inflation for GP’s from 2016-17. A further sum of approximately £30 million will be made available for April 2018.

The change in the personal injury discount rate announced by the former Lord Chancellor (Elizabeth Truss MP) in February 2017 has significantly increased the cost of claims. The Department is working closely with GPs and Medical Defence Organisations to ensure that appropriate funding is available to meet additional costs to GPs, recognising the crucial role they play in the delivery of National Health Service care.

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