Healthcare Professional Protection

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We provide you with advice and full support, from experts with extensive experience, through the entire process in the event of a disciplinary or negligence claim. We can back this up with the best value medical indemnity.

As a unique team that comprises of a former head of operations at NHS Resolve; a practicing pain management consultant; and a PhD engineer, our Healthcare Professional Protection products lead with supporting you in maintaining your professional reputation and license to practice.

The team at MRSL Enterprise is regularly providing advice and assistance to clients. Some of the recent issues are below.

Access to medical notes

Issue

Something has gone wrong and I don’t have access to the patient’s notes and records. The hospital take care of the administration and now tell me the notes are only available with the consent of the hospital legal team.

Advice

  • It is vital to keep a copy of your own patients’ notes.
  • Consent cannot be delegated and should form part of your own records.
  • The hospital can have copies, but you must retain your own documentation.

Complaint about non-surgical aspects

Issue

My name is above the door, my surgery was fine but the patient complaint about the non-surgical aspects. What can I do?

Advice

  • Patient was satisfied with my surgery, unhappy with aspects of the non-surgical care. The patent will not deal with the hospital.
  • The patient is entitled to look to you to resolve any and all aspects of their procedure and care.
  • You will have to resolve the complaint and seek recovery from the hospital. Negligence is often very difficult to prove .
  • Your recovery is most certain if there is a contract between you and the hospital setting out rights and remedies. If a contract (incorporating a service level agreement) is not in place, then you are left with a commercial settlement . Very often the commercial relationship is not balanced and you may well find that you recovery very little or nothing of your outlay.

Am I extra exposed as a locum?

Issue

I am a locum practitioner and feel I am an easy target for blame if something goes wrong. What can I do to best protect my position before a dispute arises?

Advice

  • This is down to the basis of your engagement.
  • A locum agency should provide a layer of protection between you and the surgery and you need to satisfy yourself that is the case. (MRSL Enterprise can assist with this)
  • If you are engaged direct, you will need to deal with this aspect yourself (again, MRSL Enterprise can assist). This is particularly if the locum position arises through a friendship with a colleague.

Is Medical Indemnity Insurance required by law?

Paragraph 63 of the GMC's Guide to Good medical practice contains a requirement for doctors to maintain adequate insurance or indemnity cover. This was enacted into law in The Health Care and Associated Professions (Indemnity Arrangements) Order 2014. By law doctors and dentists need medical indemnity.

On 6th December 2018 the Department of Health and Social Care issued a White Paper entitled "Appropriate clinical negligence cover". This paper expresses the DHSC's desire to disallow discretionary mutual cover for clinical negligence. If this is implemented the cover provided by all of the MDOs would not meet the legal requirement.

Who should buy Medical Indemnity?

All doctors must be covered by Medical Indemnity by law. As doctors increasingly group together, and often form companies, to deliver medical services there is a strong argument that the group or entity should buy indemnity, rather than the individual doctors. This would both be consistent with Professional Indemnity Insurance purchased by other professions and the Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts which covers NHS Trusts and associated entities. Insuring at the entity level tackles the growing issue of vicarious liability claims in medicine.

How much does medical indemnity cost?

There is a vast range of risk in medical practice. Some surgeons treat patients with medication more often then they perform surgery. Others perform a range of non-invasive testing. Other surgeons are involved in child birth and physical brain surgery, both high risk activities.

The absolute minimum premium for medical indemnity is around £2,500 which would include legal expense cover for disciplinary, Coroner's Court and even Criminal proceedings. Insurance for most individual doctors will be less than £99,000, unless the doctor has a particularly lively claims record.

Entity insurance can prove attractive. Insurance for an entire medical business will be over £10,000 at the lowest end, but even businesses delivering riskier services are often insured for a total price around £100,000.