NHS England says it will provide £10 million to GPs to help support delivery of additional extended hours, out of hours and unscheduled care sessions over the winter period.

The Winter Indemnity Scheme will cover the costs of professional indemnity for the extra services provided by GPs, which will allow them the freedom to work extra sessions securely and without extra costs, it said.

The move will enable doctors to commit to more out of hours sessions without the need to negotiate additional changes to their level of indemnity cover.

“Extra costs can discourage GPs from providing extra out of hours or unscheduled care, so NHS England is supporting them to offer additional services, which is not only better for patients – who get more convenient access to care – but also eases the pressure on GPs, A&Es and other frontline NHS services,” noted Dr David Geddes, NHS England’s director of primary care commissioning.

This is the fourth year that NHS England has funded the successful winter indemnity scheme, having first introduced it in 2015/16.