How will the GMS Contract Changes Affect Locum Insurance?

Read about the changes in reimbursements of sickness cover for GPs from 2017/8, how they will affect locum insurance, and how Towergate can help cover your staff absence requirements.

How will the GMS contract changes affect practices?

The NHS have amended the General Medical Services (GMS) Statement of Financial Entitlement (SFE). According to analysis of staff absence claims over the last ten years, the average cost for covering an absent GP is £2,800 a week, and the NHS will, going forward, cover up to £1,734 of these absence costs for the first 26 weeks. However, this would leave you with a potential shortfall of £1,066 to cover the cost of staff absence.

Furthermore, for the following 26 weeks, the amount you can claim from the SFE halves to £867. For these weeks, your shortfall could be as much as £1,933.

How can locum insurance cover the GMS shortfall?

Towergate has liaised with the British Medical Association (BMA) to really understand the changes and how we should adapt to best meet the needs of GP surgeries. We have worked closely with our leading insurer partner Zurich to develop Locum Response, a product that responds to these changes, taking into consideration:

  • The average cost of covering an absent GP is £2,800 per week – we provide a weekly benefit of £3,000 for 54 weeks
  • Coverage for all employees in your surgery, including Practice Managers and Nurses – we understand they are just as important to your practice as GPs
  • Priced accordingly for your budget expectations
  • Aligned excess period of 2 weeks, although this can be increased to 4 if required
  • The need for a 54-week benefit period

We have developed this product in recognition of the amendments made by the NHS to better support GP practices. Through Locum Response we can offer:

  • Up to £1,300 on top of NHS entitlement for first 26 weeks
  • Up to £2,200 on top of NHS entitlement for the second 26 weeks

Should I take out full locum insurance?

For certain surgeries, it may still be best to continue to insure commercially against the full cost of staff absence. Since the increase in GMS benefit in April 2017, half of our customers have still chosen to maintain full locum insurance as that provides the best cover for them. This is particularly the case if you require locum insurance for other members of the practice team, in addition to GPs.

Therefore, in addition to our response product, we are also continuing to offer a range of locum insurance policies that can provide tailored cover for peace of mind all year round, providing protection that the GMS Statement of Financial Entitlement may not offer.

Locum insurance from Towergate

We would love to talk to you about your staff absence insurance and locum insurance needs, and how we can support you. Call our specialist medical team now on 01438 739 891.