MPS aims to help doctors with the ethical and legal problems that arise from their professional practice. The services we provide have a number of aims:
- To help doctors with specific problems arising from the course of their professional practice
- To promote safer medical practice in order to reduce the possibility of future problems
- Engage with stakeholders to help bring about a sensible regulatory environment.
We do this through a range of membership benefits.
With MPS’s occurrence-based protection, you can rest assured that you have gold standard protection against the costs of clinical negligence claims. This is because assistance can be sought for any adverse incident that took place during membership of MPS – even if the claim is brought years later, or if you have long since left MPS.
The advantages offered by this type of protection compared to alternative models are significant. You do not need to make any further financial arrangements for long-term protection after your membership ends – so-called “run-off” – which you would need to do with most other types of indemnity or an insurance policy. Occurrence-based indemnity also provides maximum flexibility if your circumstances change.
MPS indemnity is comprehensive. Because we are not restricted by detailed terms and conditions and other constraints found in insurance policies, we are often able to help members with unusual problems. MPS indemnity rests on the Memorandum and Articles of Association, which specifies that all the benefits of membership are to be granted at the discretion of MPS Council.
This discretion allows us to respond to changes in the medicolegal environment and assist members with emerging problems that may not have been foreseen – and therefore not included in a contract of insurance – at the time it was taken out.
When we take on a member’s case, we can take care of all the legal costs and compensation payments.
Advances in clinical practice, changing social expectations and political agendas all influence the medicolegal environment to varying degrees. Therefore it is important that your indemnity arrangements are both robust enough to accommodate escalating costs and flexible enough to adjust to new and unusual demands.
Read some examples of how MPS can help in a range of different situations:
Advice and representation
Medicolegal advisory service
You can phone or email us for advice to help resolve the many dilemmas that can arise from everyday practice. Our team of medicolegal advisers – doctors with legal training – is available to help members.
Clinical negligence claims
This represents about 20% of our caseload, but accounts for the largest proportion of annual expenditure. When we take on a claim, we can manage it from first notification to conclusion, and can take care of all the legal costs and compensation payments.
We can help you formulate a response to a complaint and assist and support you through to the resolution of a complaint. We can work with you to look at why complaints arise and how to minimise the risks of recurrence.
We can provide advice and representation if you face allegations arising from the provision of clinical care to patients, concerning your professional conduct, competence and performance, or in relation to health problems that are having a significant effect on your clinical performance.
Preparing for inquests
We can help you prepare a report for the coroner and advise you on how to conduct yourself at the inquest. If necessary, we can arrange for legal representation on your behalf.
Handling media attention
If you attract adverse publicity, we can issue press statements and act as spokesperson to the media to shield you as far as possible from having to deal directly with the press.
We can help if you become the subject of criminal investigations that arise directly from your provision of clinical care to patients. This includes investigation or prosecution for gross negligence manslaughter. We can also help if you face an allegation of indecent or sexual assault – if that arises from your bona fide clinical practice.
It is unlikely that we would assist where the allegations arise from personal conduct.
Indemnity for Good Samaritan acts
The benefits of MPS membership are available to members who are involved in a claim arising from a Good Samaritan act anywhere in the world. A Good Samaritan act is one in which medical assistance is given, free of charge, in a bona fide medical emergency upon which you may chance, in a personal as opposed to a professional capacity. Examples include roadside accidents and emergencies at public events you attend as a spectator.
In the unlikely event that legal proceedings follow, you would be entitled to apply for assistance, no matter in which country the legal proceedings are commenced.
Working in another country
MPS has members in many countries arounfd the world and you may be able to continue membership with us if you decide to work overseas. Please contact us to check before travelling, to ensure that you have appropriate indemnity arrangements. This is particularly important because some countries – for example, Australia and Germany – have a legal requirement that all healthcare practitioners have insurance-based indemnity.
Counselling and support
We offer access to a 24/7 counselling service if you are suffering from stress and anxiety as a result of situations such as complaints, claims, or disciplinary hearings. It is an independent service tailored to your requirements and delivered by fully trained, qualified and registered psychologists and counsellors.
The service is entirely independent and confidential – MPS is not informed of the details of consultations – and accessing the service is via the relevant medicolegal case handler, who will be able to provide the service’s freephone number.