Joint and several, and vicarious liability - explanatory note

 

Joint and several liability

Individual membership of MDDUS does not provide access to indemnity for a member’s liability in respect of his or her partners in a business, including general medical and dental partnerships.

Vicarious liability

If you employ or engage staff, the courts may hold you vicariously liable for the negligence of those individuals. The law surrounding this principle is complex, and is still evolving. MDDUS is able to provide access to indemnity for most groups of staff, but this is not always automatic and there may be additional subscriptions due. It is very important for all members who employ or engage staff to be clear on the extent of support offered by MDDUS. Please see the notes below:

General practitioner (GP) partners

Administrative and basic clinical roles

Staff members working within the course of their employment in a role included within the below list will fall within the scope of protection normally offered by GP partners’ membership of MDDUS. Access to indemnity is given through the vicarious liability of MDDUS GP partners. Benefits provided by MDDUS will be proportionate to a head count of members amongst the partners within the practice.

  • Healthcare assistants
  • Phlebotomists
  • Practice nurses (excluding nurse prescribers, nurse practitioners or others undertaking advanced roles – please see below)
  • Dispensing staff (excluding pharmacists)
  • Other non-clinical administrative staff.

Other staff

MDDUS would not expect to offer indemnify for claims arising from a member’s vicarious liability for staff undertaking clinical roles who do not fall within the above list.

Medically qualified staff, including salaried doctors and locums, are able to join MDDUS in their own right, as individual members. Physician associates are also able to join as individual members.

Consultants

Within this category of member, MDDUS is able to offer indemnity for administrative staff acting in the course of their employment to provide direct support for your personal private practice only. If you employ clinical staff such as HCAs and nurses, through a private arrangement, MDDUS may be willing to extend the benefits of your membership to include indemnity for liability that you might incur as a result. This is not automatic and there may be additional subscriptions due, depending on the nature of the roles undertaken – please contact our membership team if this applies to you. In some cases employed staff will have the opportunity to gain appropriate indemnity through their own professional organisations and this of course should continue to be encouraged.

Other doctors

MDDUS subscriptions for doctors other than consultants and general practitioner partners do not generally include access to indemnity for vicarious liability in respect of employed or engaged staff.

General dental practitioner (GDP) principals/ partners

Administrative and basic clinical roles

Staff members working within the course of their employment in a role included within the below list will fall within the scope of protection offered by GDP principals’ membership of MDDUS. Indemnity is given through the vicarious liability of MDDUS GDP principals and where relevant, payments made by MDDUS will be proportionate to a head count amongst the principals/ partners within a practice.

  • Dental nurses
  • Hygienists and therapists
  • Other non-clinical administrative staff.

Please note that MDDUS does not expect to provide access to indemnity for dental nurses, hygienists, therapists or other non-dentists in respect of cosmetic medical procedures such as Botox and fillers.

Other clinical staff

MDDUS would not expect to indemnify claims arising from a member’s vicarious liability for staff undertaking clinical roles within the practice and who do not fall within the above list. Dentally qualified staff, including associate dentists, employed dentists, assistants and locums, are able to join MDDUS in their own right as individual members.

Other dentists

MDDUS subscriptions for dentists other than GDP principals do not generally include access to indemnity for vicarious liability.

Allied health professionals

MDDUS subscriptions for allied health professionals do not generally include access to indemnity for vicarious liability.

General

Members are reminded that all assistance is granted subject to the terms of the Articles of Association.

There may be vicarious liability for a type of claim which does not fall within the scope of MDDUS membership.

Members should ensure that those who are outside the scope of protection offered by MDDUS are required to produce evidence of adequate and appropriate indemnity arrangement being in place before commencement of employment or engagement.