Medical legal fees for GPs working eight sessions a week will be as little as £1,400 from 1 April under state-backed indemnity, a drop of more than 80 per cent from previous average costs.

The state-backed scheme will cover the cost of clinical negligence for GPs and other practice staff carrying out NHS work from 1 April but GPs will need to maintain cover for non-NHS work, GMC representation and other matters.

One London GP covered by the MDU has been told he will pay £1,360 a year for cover for eight sessions a week.

This is the first confirmation of the extent to which GP rates are likely to fall under the landmark indemnity reform that takes effect from next month.

GPs across England due to renew their indemnity cover in April are receiving letters from medical defence organisations informing them of the rates they will pay from 1 April.

Rates would drop by substantially more than 50 per cent compared with the average £8,000 annual fees GPs were paying when plans for state-backed indemnity were announced in November 2017.

The rate quoted to the London GP suggests that fees are likely to drop by in excess of 80 per cent although defence organisations and the BMA have said rates paid by individual GPs will continue to vary to some extent.

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