Medical Indemnity

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We provide you with the best value medical indemnity backed by advice from experts and full support, from experts with extensive experience, through the entire process in the event of a claim.

The Department of Health and Social Care White Paper on "Appropriate clinical negligence cover" points to the greatest change to medical indemnity since 1885. Doctors in private practice must take advice and respond now.

We have developed a summary of the paper and outline advice for consultants with a private practice. Our advice is targeted at:

  • Senior House Officers setting out in private practice
  • Mid-career surgeons with no retirement plans
  • Senior doctors with a view to retiring

Please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. us stating which advice leaflet you would like.

“The DHSC has identified fundamental weaknesses in the current system of discretionary cover. It highlights contractual uncertainty for policyholders, serious question marks over MDOs’ reserves, lack of clarity on their financial strength and an absence of regulatory scrutiny. Shining this spotlight on the glaring inadequacies of the current system sounds the death knell for non-commercial provision of clinical negligence cover.

 

“Although this consultation runs until the end of February, the DHSC’s comments indicate a seismic shift in how doctors and dentists source their clinical negligence cover. Waiting simply isn’t an option for practitioners – it’s essential they consider immediately how this will impact them and for them to look at alternative options.

 

“MDOs would need to raise huge amounts of capital and undertake major structural changes to meet the regulatory requirements set out in the consultation. This will all take time, raising considerable questions over their ability in the short, medium and long term to provide the cover that clinicians will need.

 

“The consultation paper makes it clear the scope and extent of future cover will be the responsibility of individual practitioners. This clearly requires the kind of professional expertise and guidance offered within the commercial sector.

 

“Practitioners should avoid viewing the Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts as some kind of security blanket. The CNST does provide state-backed cover, but this doesn’t extend to non-NHS work or any dental work.”

 

Roger added: “The consultation paper is as striking for what it doesn’t say as for what it does. Clinical negligence cover is addressed, but what about disciplinary cover? What’s the situation for clinicians planning to retire in the near future? It also begs the question of what will happen to existing claims and reserves for work deemed negligent prior to any transfer date.

 

“All of these factors suggest a move to the commercial sector needs to be made as soon as possible, to provide clarity and certainty.

 

“The consultation also hints at longer-term concerns for those remaining with the MDOs, such as the potential risk of having to pay towards their run-off. The simple rule of supply and demand also suggests better deals may be available for those transferring to the commercial sector now, rather than waiting to join the rush of those looking to switch in the future.”

Roger Houston

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.

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