State-backed indemnity - key commitments still missing

PRESS RELEASE

For immediate release: Thursday, 15 November 2018

Vaughan Gething AM, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Services, announced today that the Welsh Government plan to implement a state-backed indemnity scheme for GPs in Wales, similar to that planned for England.

Responding to that decision, MDDUS chief executive Chris Kenny said:

“We are concerned that this untested state-backed indemnity scheme will be implemented in April 2019 when so little detail has been shared with MDDUS or GPs in Wales.

“We have been pressing the UK and Welsh Governments to provide comprehensive operating and funding details of the new scheme for some time now yet little has been forthcoming.

“We know that the MDO model is recognised as a gold standard. That’s because:

• It tackles GPs’ problems comprehensively – claims, regulation, inquests, discipline

• It puts preservation of the doctor’s professional reputation and integrity at the centre of all decisions

• Doctors are involved in the key decisions on their claims – ‘No decision about me, without me’ works for doctors as well as patients.

“Writing MDOs out of a claims service is a false economy – and a threat to GPs’ professional standing.

“That’s why we expect the state-backed schemes in Wales and England to preserve these principles. If Government want to offer a simple claims only service, then GPs should be able to choose the integrated MDO service at no financial disbenefit.

“We have also sought a guarantee that no GP Principal will be financially disadvantaged by this new scheme when compared to the proposals MDDUS has put forward. To date, no assurance has been given. That’s bad news for GP Partners – and for patients in areas of greatest social need as that’s where any reductions in the global sum hit hardest.

“There are so many questions that remain unanswered. Planning blight followed by breakneck implementation is hardly a recipe for success.

“We believe this is a high-risk approach which fails to protect GPs’ professional reputation, removes choice and, as independent contractors, GPs should have the option to choose an integrated indemnity and advice product as compared to the state-backed scheme.

“GPs need detailed and specific answers on a wide range of issues including the cost of the scheme, and the impact on other parts of their remuneration. They have a right to expect unfettered choice, so that they can decide for themselves whether to stick with organisations with expertise in the full range of medico-legal problems in primary care, rather than be forced into an untested option.”

Notes to News Editors

MDDUS is the leading provider of GP indemnity in the UK with over 19,000 GP members. Founded in 1902, MDDUS is a mutual defence organisation offering expert medico-legal advice and professional indemnity for doctors and other healthcare professionals across the UK. After the introduction of state-backed indemnity scheme, GPs still need comprehensive protection that SBIS alone won’t provide. The scheme will not cover GPs for non-NHS work, representation at inquests, GMC hearings and disciplinary investigations. Such situations can seriously impact upon a GP’s career and could ultimately result in them being struck off. The scheme will also not include advice and support – something highly prized by MDDUS members. It is therefore crucial that GPs have access to support and guidance from experienced medico-legal advisers. Read more here. (link to why you still need an MDO) We have an information hub on our website with more information about the state-backed indemnity scheme and the work MDDUS is doing to ensure the best outcome for our members. You can access the SBIS information hub here.

Ends

For further information contact Richard Hendry on 0333 0434444 or 07976 272266, or email rihendry@mddus.com.