Less is not more when it comes to protection

GPs in England and Wales may believe that state-backed indemnity provides all the help and support they need in facing professional difficulties. But what about all the things it won’t help with?

  • Date: 15 April 2019

THE new Clinical Negligence Scheme for General Practice (CNSGP) in England and the General Medical Practice Indemnity (GMPI) scheme in Wales have now been launched – and GPs may assume that these state-backed schemes provide all they’ll ever need in terms of professional advice and support. Some may give hardly a second thought to the idea of retaining their medical defence organisation (MDO) membership.

However, it may come as a shock to discover that there are a number of key exclusions to NHS cover, leaving some unsuspecting clinicians having to pay hefty legal bills out of their own pocket.

It’s been confirmed that GPs will be indemnified by the NHS for work done within an NHS contract. Trainee GPs placed in GP settings for training purposes will also be automatically covered for clinical negligence liabilities, with no payments required. The BMA has confirmed that comprehensive personal indemnity cover for all GP trainees will be funded by Health Education England until qualification.

GPs and GP trainees still need MDO membership as there are a number of key areas where CNSGP/GMPI will not provide assistance. The schemes will not cover non-NHS work, representation at inquests, GMC hearings and disciplinary investigations. Such situations can seriously impact careers and could ultimately result in a GP being struck off.

The schemes also do not include advice and support – something highly prized by MDDUS members. It is crucial to have access to support and guidance from experienced medico-legal advisers. This is evidenced by the fact that over the past 12 months MDDUS’ team of expert medical advisers handled more than 6,500 calls and opened nearly 4,000 new case files from GP members relating to issues NOT included in the government schemes.

Also in the past 12 months, MDDUS assisted more than 200 GPs facing GMC investigations and advised 513 members who were called to appear at coroner’s inquests. In addition, we helped almost 2,500 members deal with patient complaints – another key area that won’t be covered by CNSGP/GMPI.

As these figures show, there is a huge range of areas where GPs will not get support from the new schemes and will need supplementary expert help. You can be sure that MDDUS will still be there for you.

New MDDUS product

We have developed a new product specifically designed for GPs practising under CNSGP/GMPI that provides essential advice and assistance. MDDUS General Practice Protection (GPP) costs significantly less than our existing indemnity package and provides the following benefits:

  • 24/7 medico-legal advice
  • GMC representation
  • Assistance with disciplinary matters
  • Support with Ombudsman investigations
  • Assistance with coroner’s inquests
  • Assistance with criminal matters (related to medical practice)
  • Indemnity for private clinical work outside of your NHS contract*
  • Indemnity for writing insurance reports
  • Indemnity for travel vaccination clinics
  • Indemnity for worldwide Good Samaritan acts
  • Assistance with patient complaints
  • Advice on performers’ list outcomes
  • Assistance with HR and employment issues for practice staff
  • A range of medico-legal publications
  • Discounted medico-legal training.

MDDUS has sent information letters to all GP members in England and Wales about GPP, and you can also find out more at mddus.com

* Private work (non-practice-registered patients): we can extend your membership to include access to indemnity for a range of medical work outside of your practice setting.

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.

Read more from this issue of Insight Primary

GPST is published twice a year and distributed to MDDUS members in GP training throughout the UK. It provides a mix of articles on risk, medico-legal and regulatory matters as well as general features and profiles of interest to trainee GPs. Browse all current and back issues below.
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