Supporting you when you need it

We know that during these unprecedented times, our members are focusing on looking after patients. We want to reassure you that the MDU is on hand to answer any medico-legal queries and we will make every effort to ensure we continue to provide a high level of service.

We understand you may have questions about the developing situation and we aim to provide answers and guidance on these pages as soon as we have full details from DHSC and the GMC.

Our medico-legal advice about the COVID-19 outbreak will be regularly updated as the situation develops.

Post during the COVID-19 outbreak

We can no longer receive postal deliveries. Please email all enquiries.

Doctor at desk working

Returning from retirement?

Throughout the UK retired doctors who will be providing medical services for the NHS during the COVID-19 outbreak will be indemnified by the NHS. Doctors who are permanently retired can reactivate their MDU membership for access to medico-legal advice and assistance at no additional cost until 30 September 2020. Members returning to work will need to be registered with the GMC.

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Membership questions

I am returning to work to assist

I am currently on a break from active membership and would like to return to practice temporarily during the COVID-19 outbreak. What do I need to do?

Just let us know you are returning to work. You can return permanently or you can reactivate your membership on a temporary basis. It’s quick and easy to do; just email membership@themdu.com or call us on 0800 716 376.

I am already practising

Do I need to tell the MDU if I am temporarily doing additional work specifically to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak?

NHS work will be covered by NHS indemnity. You need to tell us details of the additional work you will be doing, just email membership@themdu.com or call us on 0800 716 376.

I am a consultant and my private work will reduce because I am helping our NHS colleagues during the pandemic. Do I need to tell you and will my subscription be reduced?

If you are aware that the amount of income you had estimated for your membership year is going to change as a result of the COVID-19 situation, you can contact us to tell us of your revised income. This will ensure your membership benefits are correct for the work you do and we will adjust your subscription accordingly.

I am a GP and will be doing additional voluntary unpaid work during the COVID-19 pandemic, does this affect my subscription?

No, there is no additional charge for GP members doing additional voluntary unpaid work during the pandemic.

I am a GP and aim to do additional work during the COVID-19 pandemic. Do I need to tell the MDU?

You can tell us about additional paid work prior to your next renewal. This will ensure your membership benefits are correct for the work you do. Your sessions will be averaged over the course of the year and we will adjust your subscription accordingly.

Will my membership provide support with claims and other issues arising from NHS work as part of the response to the coronavirus outbreak?

Members providing NHS services as part of the coronavirus response can ask for our advice and support with medico-legal and ethical issues related to this work, as well as for work they do backfilling for colleagues undertaking front-line response.

We won't be able to assist with claims arising from NHS medical work related to the coronavirus response. This is because indemnity for this work will be provided by the state indemnity schemes and the Clinical Negligence Scheme for Coronavirus (CNSC), as confirmed by NHS Resolution. This includes any backfill arrangements needed to ensure the uninterrupted delivery of NHS services.

I have been asked to conduct telephone/video consultations instead of face-to-face consultations in my regular role. Do I need to tell the MDU?

No, as long as you are still carrying out the same work within your level of competence and experience there is no need to inform the MDU. Please let us know if you take on additional work including telehealth work.

I have been asked to work outside my usual field of practice. Do I need to inform the MDU?

Provision of medical services to NHS patients related to the COVID-19 outbreak will be indemnified by the NHS throughout the UK. If your clinical duties within the NHS have changed as a result of the need to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak you do not need to inform us. However, you should comply with appropriate regulatory guidance from the GMC and NMC and the work you plan to undertake should fall within your professional experience and competence.

If you are unsure about the work you are being asked to undertake email us at advisory@themdu.com or call us on 0800 716 376 for advice on how best to proceed.

I am a student

I am a medical student and want to help during the pandemic. What can I do?

The GMC says that if the outbreak worsens, it may be possible for medical students to volunteer in the NHS if they’re willing and able to do so. As a medical student, you may be able to help carry out duties that don’t require registration, for example working as healthcare assistants. 

The GMC advises that arrangements for volunteering should be made locally. You must be supervised to be safe and act within your competence. You must not be asked to carry out any duties of a doctor.

I am a medical student and would like to work as an FY1 doctor to assist with the COVID-19 outbreak. Do I need to notify the MDU?

If you wish to work as an FY1 doctor, including under an F1 locum appointment for training (LAT) contract, it’s essential you have appropriate GMC registration. The GMC have said they will allow final year students to provisionally register to enable them to work as doctors. Your student membership will include advice and assistance with any medico-legal matters that arise and you do not need to contact us.

I am a medical student and wish to work as a healthcare assistant to help during the COVID-19 outbreak (paid or voluntary work). Do I need to notify the MDU?

No, you don’t need to tell us about this. You will be covered by NHS indemnity for this work and your MDU student membership will include advice and assistance with any medico-legal matters.

My elective has changed. What do I need to do?

If you need to cancel or rearrange your elective there is no need to tell us until you have rescheduled and have the revised arrangements confirmed. You can then update your elective details in My membership.

Other questions answered

I have booked to attend an MDU course in September, will this still go ahead?

The situation is developing daily. Following the government announcement on 16 March about reducing non-essential travel, all MDU courses for the first half of the year have been cancelled. We will update our website when this changes.