GPs in England and Wales have been advised by the BMA that it will be "essential" to retain membership of a medical defence organisation (MDO) after the introduction of a state-backed indemnity scheme.
The government scheme for GPs in England and Wales is expected to launch in April 2019 and will cover clinical negligence claims for NHS services but will not cover private work or legal support in coroner’s inquests, GMC hearings or other matters relating to professional regulation.
The BMA recently updated its Medical indemnity guidance for GPs with FAQs addressing a number of issues, including the need to retain membership of an MDO. The guidance states: "The scope of the state backed scheme is to cover the cost of clinical negligence for NHS services. The MDOs will continue to play an important role in providing legal advice, representation for GMC hearings and also for the rare occasion where a criminal case occurs. Similar to hospital colleagues, it will be essential to maintain such medical indemnity."
MDDUS welcomes and strongly endorses the BMA advice.
Director of Development David Sturgeon commented: "Doctors will continue to need comprehensive protection for all their activity that falls outside the state-backed scheme – and from the consequences of the scheme if, as we fear, state-backed indemnity leads to claims settlements which take no account of damage to the professional standing and reputation of doctors.
"Only a strong MDO like MDDUS can offer that vital protection. There will be more details shortly. We will determine prices when we have more details of the Government’s thinking.”