Secretary of State for Health and Social Care indemnity - explanatory notes

With effect from 6 April 2020 the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care (DHSC) has assumed responsibility under the Existing Liabilities Scheme for General Practice for providing access to discretionary indemnity to any members or former members of MDDUS who, during their membership of MDDUS, undertook In-Scope Activities and to whom MDDUS may provide In-Scope Benefits. On the same date MDDUS’ obligations to provide such access to indemnity ceased.

In-Scope Activities are, in summary, certain acts or omissions (whether alleged or proven) by a member or former member of MDDUS in general practice that resulted or were alleged to have resulted, in harm or loss to a patient and occurred prior to 00.01 a.m. on 1 April 2019, where those acts or omissions occurred, or were alleged to have occurred, in connection with the diagnosis, care or treatment of a patient for the purposes of providing:

  • primary medical services as part of the NHS for England; or
  • other services connected with the delivery of primary medical services as part of the NHS for England; or
  • any other NHS services in England provided by general practice by or for a provider whose principal activity on the date of the relevant act was to provide NHS primary medical services.

In-Scope Benefits are, in summary, the discretionary membership benefits which are provided by MDDUS pursuant to which MDDUS may, at the request of a member or former member provide assistance or indemnity to that in respect of any claims, losses, damages, costs, charges or expenses, which arise from their In-Scope Activities. The discretionary benefits and categories of indemnity provided by MDDUS, which are set out in Appendix 1, do not fall within the definition of In-Scope Benefits and will not therefore be provided by DHSC under the Existing Liabilities Scheme for General Practice. DHSC has also, through its appointed operator, NHS Resolution (the operating name of NHS Litigation Authority), assumed responsibility for providing access to the administering and handling of claims that arise (or which as of 6 April 2020 had arisen) in relation to the In-Scope Activities of a member or former member during their membership of MDDUS. The discretionary benefits and categories of indemnity provided by MDDUS, which are set out below will not be provided by DHSC under the Existing Liabilities Scheme for General Practice:

  • indemnity for private clinical work within the United Kingdom;
  • indemnity to GPs for non-NHS work undertaken to practice registered patients not covered by primary care NHS contracts - General Medical Services, Personal Medical Services and Alternative Provider Medical Services;
  • indemnity for non-NHS work undertaken by employed practice staff for non-NHS work undertaken to practice registered patients not covered by primary care NHS contracts - General Medical Services, Personal Medical Services and Alternative Provider Medical Services;
  • indemnity for GP work undertaken or services provided outside of England and Wales but within the United Kingdom;
  • indemnity for writing insurance reports;
  • indemnity for travel vaccination clinics;
  • indemnity for worldwide Good Samaritan Acts;
  • 24 hours a day/seven days a week access to medico-legal advice;
  • assistance with patient complaints;
  • assistance with disciplinary matters;
  • advice and assistance with General Medical Council investigations, including representation at Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service hearings;
  • advice and assistance with NHS England investigations including Performance Advisory Group and Performers List Decision Making Panel hearings;
  • support with ombudsman investigations;
  • assistance with drafting reports for the coroner and representation at inquests;
  • assistance with HR and employment law issues;
  • access to a range of medico-legal publications, on and offline; and
  • discounted risk management and related training.

MDDUS will, through its General Practice Protection product, continue to provide you with access to the above discretionary benefits in relation to incidents arising before 1 April 2019. If any member or former member of MDDUS undertook In-Scope Activities while a member of a medical defence organisation other than MDDUS, then any clinical negligence liabilities arising in relation to those In-Scope Activities will not be covered by the arrangements agreed between MDDUS and DHSC. For more detailed information on the arrangements MDDUS agreed with DHSC in relation to the Existing Liabilities Scheme for General Practice and to view a copy of the Companies Act 2006 scheme of arrangement which facilitated the assumption by DHSC of the responsibility to provide access to discretionary indemnity and claims handling assistance under the Existing Liabilities Scheme for General Practice please click here.

Advice & Support

For advice and support in a potential claim or other matter, please login to your account and complete the contact form.