Mind the gap

State-backed indemnity, which starts on 1 April 2019, only provides indemnity for clinical negligence claims arising from primary care work under an NHS England or Wales contract.

GPs will still need the expert guidance MDU membership provides, such as support with patient complaints, GMC referrals, ombudsman investigations, performers' list actions, coroners' inquests and even criminal investigations.

About state-backed indemnity

Is state-backed indemnity enough?

In the last 12 months, the MDU has opened over 6,000 case-files on behalf of GPs and their staff relating to matters that will not be covered by the new scheme such as patient complaints and GMC investigations. As doctors ourselves, we know that you will still need the expert support and guidance that MDU membership provides. We are here to help defend your reputation and career.

How does the introduction of state-backed indemnity impact my subscription?

As the state-backed indemnity scheme will cover clinical negligence claims arising from work you do under an NHS contract in England and Wales, after 1 April 2019 your MDU subscription will significantly reduce. We will write to members to explain the impact on their membership, ahead of their next renewal.

Can I include indemnity for claims for clinical negligence for my private work in my MDU membership?

Yes you can. You have a continued professional obligation to have indemnity in place for all clinical work you do, including work which is not indemnified under the state-backed indemnity scheme. Simply tell us what private work you intend to do when you approach your renewal and we will adjust your subscription accordingly.

Will the state-backed scheme include existing (historic) liabilities to cover incidents that may have occurred during my MDU membership but have not yet been reported?

The precise arrangement of the state-backed indemnity scheme are still not known. Once we know the full details of the scheme we will update members.

What about indemnity for claims for clinical negligence for GPs in Scotland and Northern Ireland?

There is no change as the devolved governments in Scotland and Northern Ireland have not introduced a state-backed indemnity scheme for GPs and as yet have not indicated an intention to do so.

One single clinical incident can lead to multiple investigations

In our experience, a GP is likely to receive claims for clinical negligence infrequently in their career, whereas the likelihood of needing assistance with a complaint or other professional matter such as GMC investigations, is much higher.

GPs should not compromise their own protection.

What MDU membership provides and state indemnity will not:

  • Support with GMC fitness to practise investigations.

  • Indemnity for work not covered by the NHS state-backed indemnity scheme, including activities such as writing reports as well as any private clinical work you do.

  • Representation at disciplinary investigations.
  • Help preparing responses to patient complaints.
  • Assistance with criminal investigations arising from clinical practice, e.g. gross negligence manslaughter.
  • Representation at the coroner’s court.
  • 24-hour access to award winning medico-legal advice.
  • 24-hour access to press and media helpline.
  • Indemnity for Good Samaritan acts worldwide.

Renewing MDU membership

Will I receive a subscription refund when the state-backed indemnity starts in April 2019?

We aim to treat our members fairly which may allow us to provide a partial refund of subscription where a member had a substantial part of their MDU transitional benefits membership year still to run at the point the state-backed indemnity scheme is introduced and they convert to a new form of membership. Whether this will prove possible will depend on the precise arrangements for the new government scheme and we will update members when we know more.

I'm about to renew my membership. Do I have to pay for an entire year when I may only need to be indemnified for 1 month?

Until the government confirms details and timescales for the state-backed indemnity scheme, you need to renew your membership. Once we know more detail about the scheme we will contact you to explain the impact on your subscription.

Will I need to buy run off cover from you?

As set out in the MDU's member guide, run off is payable in the following circumstances:

  1. if you leave the MDU before the state-backed indemnity scheme is introduced
  2. if the state-backed indemnity scheme is introduced without picking up historic liabilities and you were to leave the MDU before the normal retirement age for your NHS pension scheme.

Otherwise there would be no need for you to purchase run off from us.

Will my MDU membership change when state-backed indemnity is in place?

GP members on transitional benefits membership will renew onto traditional MDU occurrence membership.

Importantly, MDU membership will include:

  • GMC fitness to practise investigations
  • indemnity for work not covered by the NHS indemnity scheme (including activities such as writing reports as well as any private work you do)
  • representation at disciplinary investigations
  • preparing responses to patient complaints
  • criminal investigations arising from clinical practice, e.g. gross negligence manslaughter
  • representation at the coroner's court
  • 24-hour access to award winning medico-legal advice
  • 24-hour access to press and media helpline
  • indemnity for good Samaritan acts.
 

Mind the gap: MDU membership and state-backed indemnity

We know how it feels when you get 'that call'.

Watch our video which follows a fictitious case, based on real MDU files. It demonstrates how a seemingly simple patient examination can lead to multiple investigations.

We can offer GPs support and guidance that state-backed indemnity will not provide.

Support for your practice

What will the state backed indemnity scheme provide for GP members and practice staff?

It is anticipated that state indemnity will provide support for clinical negligence claims for GPs and primary care staff arising from contracted NHS duties in England and Wales.

State indemnity will not provide support for complaints made against any practice staff, costs associated with matters brought to the GMC or other registration bodies, or any criminal investigations.

 
Will the state-backed indemnity scheme provide indemnity for practice nurses, nurse practitioners, advanced nurse practitioners and other practice staff?

Yes. State-backed indemnity scheme will provide support for clinical negligence claims for primary care staff arising from contracted NHS duties in England and Wales.

As a GROUPCARE practice how will the introduction of state-backed indemnity affect our GROUPCARE scheme?

We are reviewing GROUPCARE practice benefits. If your practice has a GROUPCARE scheme in place we will contact you again when details of state-backed indemnity have been confirmed.