For immediate release: Tuesday, 17 November 2015
Medical defence organisation MDDUS is reporting another year of growth in membership and now has a third of the GP market in the UK.
MDDUS has enjoyed more than a decade of continual growth with a 9.4 per cent increase in total membership in 2014. As of the end of September this year, MDDUS had approximately 35,000 members including 25 per cent of GPs in England and 34 per cent UK wide.
GP membership rose by 11 per cent overall in 2014 and by 16 per cent outside of Scotland, with an increase among hospital doctors of 7 per cent.
MDDUS Joint Head of Medical Division Dr Anthea Martin believes the sustained growth is built on a firm commitment to quality. She said: “MDDUS continues to offer personalised, rapid and flexible service in medico-legal advisory work, support for members in legal proceedings and day-to-day handling of subscriptions and queries.
“Increasing numbers of doctors and dentists are putting their trust in our professionalism, responsiveness and value in an increasingly tough environment where claims and GMC referrals continue to rise.”
MDDUS medical advisory team saw an increase of 13 per cent in telephone calls for advice in 2014, with 87 per cent answered at first contact by a trained adviser able to deal with the enquiry.In addition to medico-legal advice, MDDUS offers an expert employment law service, with the number of calls received increasing by 13 per cent in 2014.
MDDUS chief executive Chris Kenny added: “MDDUS encourages members to make use of the advice line that is available to them as a benefit of membership. Our door is always open. Seeking our advice and using our online risk management services will assist the member in adopting safer clinical practice.
“We give a categorical assurance that the underwriting and pricing decisions of MDDUS are not driven by the number of contacts with the organisation. We would never penalise members for using this valuable benefit of membership.”
Kenny believes the growth is evidence of clinicians’ confidence in the indemnity model as the best way to protect patients and the profession.
He commented: “Our occurrence-based indemnity has no time limit or cost cap on liability. This means that we help members for any claim that arises, even if they have moved abroad, ceased clinical work, retired or are deceased when the claim or complaint arises.
“Insurance products rarely do that. They usually only guarantee protection to doctors insured both when the incident occurred and when the claim is made. The crucial importance of this lies in the fact that claims can be made several months or even years after the events that give rise to the claim.”
Meanwhile, figures from the MDDUS annual report reveal a 22 per cent rise in claims against GPs in 2014 compared to the previous year. Over 75 per cent of the claims settled that year were successfully concluded without any payment as a three year average to 2014.
Kenny urged that the government must act quickly and decisively to cap legal costs in clinical negligence cases. He said: “It is in everyone’s interest to ensure that patients rather than the legal services industry benefit from properly advanced claims and rapid settlements.
“Tendentious litigation which falls at the first hurdle and poor management in other cases undermine patient confidence and hit our members’ pockets. We will press aggressively for any reimbursement of our costs whenever possible to deter such practice.”
MDDUS has also seen a small increase in the number of members subject to investigation by the GMC in 2014, up 7 per cent on the previous year.
Dr Martin said: “We continue to engage with the GMC on behalf of our members to explore means of proportionate or consensual disposal of regulatory cases. We are seeing a greater proportion of those investigations concluded without referral to a fitness to practise hearing.”
For further information contact Richard Hendry on 0845 270 2034 or 07976 272266, or email email@example.com.
Note to editors
MDDUS (The Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland) is a medical and dental defence organisation providing access to professional indemnity and expert medico- and dento-legal advice for doctors, dentists and other healthcare professionals throughout the UK.
For further information on MDDUS go to www.mddus.com.