NHS England currently provides practices with basic cover for GP’s that are off sick. If a GP is away from the practice due to illness for more than two weeks and the practice provides invoices showing the cost of cover for him/her, these costs should be met by the NHS.
However, the NHS will only pay up to certain amounts, so if a locum costs more than the set limit there will be a shortfall for the practice.
- The NHS will pay up to £1,751.52 per week in England for the first 26 weeks and then for the following the 26 weeks the payment is cut by half to a total payment of £875 per week.
- If a practice arranges locum insurance at £2500pw for their GP’s and one of them goes off sick for more than two weeks the NHS will pay for £1751, on the basis that invoices can be provided, the locum insurance policy will pay the remaining £749. If the GP is still absent after 26 weeks the NHS will then pay £875, and the locum insurance policy will pay £1625, to ensure that the GP is covered up to £2500.
- The NHS payment must be supported by invoices, if the practices is unable to provide the necessary invoices, the payment from the NHS will be delayed.
- The NHS reimbursement scheme only covers GP’s in the practice, not other essential practice staff, such as Nurses. The NHS does not currently cover for other absences, such as, Jury Service or Compassionate Leave either.
Chris Dixon BSc (Hons) Dip PFS
Director of Approachable Finance and Approachable Locum Insurance