The MDU advises GPs to 'mind the gap' when the state-backed indemnity scheme is introduced

The Medical Defence Union (MDU) is reminding GPs that they will continue to need membership of a medical defence organisation following the introduction of state-backed indemnity in April 2019.

Launching a new 'mind the gap' campaign today, the MDU highlighted that in the last 12 months it has opened over 6,000 case-files on behalf of GPs and their staff relating to matters unlikely to be covered by the new scheme such as patient complaints, coroners' inquests and GMC investigations.

Dr Matthew Lee, MDU director of professional services, said:

'The MDU will continue to play an important role for our GP members after state-backed indemnity is introduced. Many GPs are surprised to learn that a single clinical incident can lead to multiple investigations. The state scheme may, in future, support GPs with compensation claims, but there are many other ways GPs can be held to account and need our help. These include patient complaints, GMC referrals, Ombudsman investigations, performers' list actions, coroners' inquests and even criminal investigations. In the last 12 months, the MDU has opened over 6000 medico-legal case files on behalf of GPs and their teams facing such matters.

'GPs should not compromise their own protection. The MDU is here to help defend a GP's reputation and career. As doctors ourselves, we know that even after the arrival of state-backed indemnity you will still need the expert support and guidance that MDU membership provides.'

The MDU is launching the 'mind the gap' campaign today at the Best Practice 2018 show. It aims to inform GPs of the potential gaps that would be left in their personal indemnity were they to rely solely on the state-backed scheme. Continuing MDU membership closes that gap, offering indemnity for claims arising from non-NHS contract activities and ensuring expert advice and uncompromising support is available for those GPs unfortunate enough to encounter individual professional criticism.

To coincide with the event, the MDU has developed a medico-legal quiz, which explores the multiple scenarios that can result from a single incident and highlighting the likely gaps between the state-backed scheme and the broad ranging services the MDU offers. Participants who complete the quiz before 31 October also have the chance to win an iPad mini 4.

Additionally, two of our medico-legal advisers, Dr Carol Chu and Dr Clare Sweeney will be delivering presentations at the Best Practice event on popular primary care topics: 'Data protection and confidentiality' and 'Mental Capacity - A practical approach'.

To learn more and to take the quiz please visit:

This guidance was correct at publication 17/10/2018. It 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.

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