The partnership model in general practice - can it be saved?


For immediate release: Wednesday, 16 January 2018

Responding to Dr Nigel Watson’s GP Partnership review, an independent review into the partnership model of general practice, MDDUS chief executive Chris Kenny said:

“We welcome this review into the partnership model and we are glad it has highlighted the daily and ongoing pressures and demands that our GP members face. We believe that the partnership model should be supported in a way it can continue to be a success and removes the unnecessary demands placed upon it.

“However, the recently published NHS Long Term Plan states that a state-backed indemnity scheme (SBIS) will be ‘cost neutral’ so GPs need absolute certainty on how any scheme will be paid for – in 2019/20 and future years. That’s a key issue for today’s partners in particular – but also those who aspire to partnership in future.

“Neither SBIS nor this review addresses the cost drivers causing the rise in indemnity costs which can only be tackled through legal reform.

“GPs in England and Wales will still need the protection of MDDUS as the SBIS does not cover complaints, involvement in coroners’ cases, GMC hearings and other matters relating to professional regulation and non NHS work.

“Finally, MDDUS fully supports initiatives that promote GP partnerships as this model provides continuity and helps reduce clinical risk.”


For further information contact Richard Hendry on 0333 0434444 or 07976 272266, or email

Note to 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.

We have an information hub on our website with more details 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.

This page was correct at the time of publication. Any guidance is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.

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