When we are unlikely to provide support

We carefully consider each request for help. But the following are examples of when we are unlikely to provide support.

Matters which can be covered by other insurances and organisations providing indemnity

  • Matters where you, or another person you have vicarious liability for, are entitled to indemnity under an insurance policy or an NHS scheme including the NHS clinical negligence schemes for trusts and general practice in England and Wales, or are entitled to ask for help from another organisation (unless on the first or second year of a Foundation programme).
  • Claims arising from your vicarious liability for any act or omission (failure to act) of a registered medical or dental practitioner, any other registered healthcare professional (except practice nurses*), or any person providing laboratory or other service to the medical, dental or allied professions** (unless specifically agreed by the MDU).
  • Claims arising from the clinical practice of your partner in a firm, including a general medical practice.
  • Claims relating to property, including its damage or destruction.
  • Claims relating to making, distributing or selling any product.
  • Pollution or environmental claims, other than relating to treating an individual patient who is injured or ill as a result of pollution.
  • Claims arising from material published or broadcast by you, or on your behalf, or to which you have contributed.

Matters of deliberate, reckless or criminal acts

  • Defending criminal charges arising from activities not related to the normal treatment of a patient, for example assault of a colleague or motoring offences.
  • Any matters arising from a criminal act which you have admitted or which has been proven, including damages or fines resulting from such an act.
  • Claims arising from unlawfully selling, supplying or using any substance.
  • Any matters arising from you (or anyone you have vicarious liability for) deliberately intending to cause harm or practising in a manner that does not align with the ethics and expectations of the profession. This includes but is not limited to, your or their knowing (or obvious) dishonest, fraudulent, malicious or reckless acts or omissions (including retrospectively altering medical or other records).
  • Damages awarded for a claim which arises from allegations of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, unlawful discrimination or any other alleged unlawful conduct by you, which arises from your clinical practice or a Good Samaritan act, and legal costs for any matter which is proven or admitted.
  • Defending allegations of personal misconduct (as distinct from clinical issues) in local disciplinary investigations or hearings.

Matters of commercial interest

  • Partnership, employment or agency disputes or contracts, or compensation claims. (We do not support members with employment advice and associated services and encourage you to join the BMA or another representative organisation as well as joining the MDU).
  • Fee scales and recovery of charges for work you have carried out.
  • Claims arising from your involvement in the clinical management or assessment of a professional sports person where the claim is not being brought by, or on behalf of, the patient or their dependants.
  • Withholding of your pay in conjunction with a disciplinary hearing.
  • Issues arising from commercial contracts or arrangements, or related to any trading or personal debt you may have, including claims arising from your insolvency or bankruptcy.
  • Investigations by competition authorities.
  • Any indirect or consequential loss, or loss of profits or earnings by you.
  • Claims that may be made in relation to your work as a director of a company (unless specifically agreed in advance).

Other matters which may not be in the wider interests of our members

  • Your personal costs arising from your attendance at court, hearings or meetings with us about your case, or the costs of any locum cover you may arrange.
  • Claims made by someone who is not the recipient about reports you have provided, if the subject of that report is a general clinical matter and not about a patient.
  • Any matters arising from your practice where we or the NHS are not your indemnifier for clinical negligence claims arising from the work.
  • Any issues arising from your failure to achieve the educational or training standards necessary, for example failing exams.
  • Damages awarded in a claim for defamation against you arising from your clinical practice or a Good Samaritan act.
  • Legal expenses or costs if you pursue a grievance or claim of defamation or discrimination against someone else.
  • Exemplary or aggravated damages awarded against you.
  • Claims from members on claims made membership, where you have retired from practice or left the MDU and have not applied for, and been granted, Extended Reporting Period.

If you are not sure whether indemnity can be made available for a particular area of your work, please call our membership team on 0800 716 376.


* A practice nurse is a nurse who is not, and is not held out to be, a nurse practitioner or advanced nurse practitioner within our definition(s). We can provide individual membership for other registered healthcare professionals, including nurse practitioners. Please contact the membership team for details.


** It is important that you regularly ensure all registered medical or dental practitioners, any other registered healthcare practitioner (except practice nurses*) or any person providing laboratory or other services whom you employ, engage or supervise, or who operate under your control, have in place membership of a medical defence organisation or a policy of insurance or be indemnified by an NHS indemnity scheme to indemnify them for a claim of clinical negligence against them.

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