A resource containing definitions of key words and phrases that may appear on this website.
Audit Committee – A sub-committee of MPS’s Council which reviews risk management and control systems, scope and results of the annual audit, the annual financial statements and meets annually with MPS’s actuary.
Case Handler – The member of staff responsible for managing the case file. This may be a Medicolegal Adviser, Dentolegal Adviser or High Claims Manager.
Cases System – The database of all cases opened by MPS, containing historical information including financial data.
Claims Advisory Committee – A committee of clinicians with delegated authority to act on behalf of and in the name of Council in considering and taking decisions upon claims for compensation. It comprises clinical members of MPS’s Council and other clinicians, who make decisions on claims over £100,000.
Claims Audit Group – An in-house team comprising of the Chief Executive, Director of Claims and Legal Services, Head of Medical Services, Leeds and London, and legal and medical representatives. The CAG has delegated authority from MPS’s Council to make decisions on claims valued less than £50,000.
Claims reserve – this is the aggregate cost of claims that have been reported to MPS and where MPS has already exercised its discretion to provide an indemnity. The value of these claims is estimated at ultimate settlement value, that is to say, the cost of the claim if were to be settled today, inflated by the rate of claims inflation between now and the expected date of settlement and then discounted by the expected rate of investment return on assets held to meet the future cost of claims.
Council – The Council of MPS is responsible for exercising the powers of MPS. It consists of between 5 and 14 members, plus the Chief Executive and DPL Chairman, and has a majority of medical or dental members. Members of Council are elected by the membership of MPS. The Council’s obligations and powers are set out in the Memorandum and Articles of Association.
CRSA – Clinical Risk Self Assessment, offered by MPS Educational Services.
Dental Claims Audit Group (DCAG) – An in-house team comprising of Chair, Solicitor, Dental Claims Adviser, two Dentolegal Advisers and ex-officio attendance by the Dental Director/Assistant Dental Director/Director of Claims and Legal Services. The DCAG has delegated authority from the Board of Dental Protection to make decisions on claims valued at less than £40,000.
Dental Claims Manager (DCM) – File handler for claims from Claims and Legal department.
Defence costs – Legal costs, related expenses and disbursements reasonably and necessarily incurred in the defence, investigation or settlement of any claim or circumstance or in conducting any proceedings for indemnity, contribution or recovery relating to a claim.
Discretion – 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 as well as common problems. We provide this breadth of assistance by eschewing the sort of constraints found in insurance policies. MPS indemnity rests on the Memorandum and Articles of Association, which specifies that 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 unpredictable problems.
DLA – Dentolegal Adviser.
DPL – Dental Protection Limited.
Good Samaritan acts – The provision of emergency first aid assistance when you are not present in your professional capacity, but as a bystander.
Membership Grade – The grade encompasses details of the membership type, subscription payable, status of the practitioner, private practice allowance etc.
IBNR (Incurred But Not Reported) – IBNR relates to the aggregate cost of potential claims which may result from adverse incidents which have already occurred, but where the claims that will potentially result have not been yet been reported to MPS, (Incurred But Not reported). The cost of these claims will become MPS's responsibility when they are reported if discretion is exercised to provide an indemnity.
In-benefit check – This is a check carried out by the membership department on every member who applies to MPS for assistance. Membership use an interface database to pass membership grade and subscription details to the case handler via CAD.
Letter before action – The first letter from a prospective Claimant's solicitor to a prospective defendant alleging negligence and confirming that damages are being sought.
Litigant in person – An individual who takes action against another individual or organisation in his/her own right rather than using a solicitor.
Member – A practitioner who, having paid the appropriate subscription and complied with other MPS terms of membership, is entitled to benefits including assistance and indemnity for claims.
Membership Governance – Membership Governance is a department within the medical division of MPS. It identifies individual members who pose an unacceptably high level of risk to MPS. Membership Governance will try and help that member reduce their risk whenever possible.
Memo and Arts – Memorandum and Articles of Association sets out the purpose of MPS and the rules by which it is governed.
MLA – Medicolegal Adviser.
Medicolegal Consultant (MLC) – MPS has a number of MLCs both in the UK and overseas who are not directly employed but contracted to MPS to provide services in these areas.
MPI (London) – A subsidiary company of MPS established to administer and monitor the investments of MPS. Its role involves recommending investment strategies to MPS Council and monitoring the execution of those strategies and the effectiveness of the investment managers.
MPS Educational Services – MPS, as a responsible organisation, believes in the value of education and risk management. By providing education and risk management to doctors, dentists and other healthcare professionals, we believe that this will improve the knowledge and skills of those professionals, thereby reducing the risk of litigation and complaints. By doing so, we also contribute to safer practice and better patient safety with the clear aim of helping reduce avoidable harm to patients.
MPS Risk Solutions (MPSrs) – MPS Risk Solutions Limited is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Medical Protection Society and – unlike MPS – is an insurance company authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. MPSrs has been created with the specific intention of addressing the corporate malpractice insurance needs of doctors and other health professionals in business.
Occurrence-based indemnity – Because claims may be brought many years after the event, MPS provides professional indemnity on an occurrence basis – ie, the indemnity arrangements you have in place at the time of an incident can be invoked at any time in the future when a claim emerges. This may be long after you have changed indemnifiers, retired, or even after you have died.
Preclaim – A preclaim is a report of a case in which there is some formal intimation by a patient or his/her representative of a possible claim (eg, a request for disclosure of medical records) but where no demand for financial compensation has yet been made.
Retired/deferred member – A member who has ceased practising either permanently or temporarily.
Standard/burden of proof – Standard of proof in criminal matters which has to be attained to obtain a conviction is that of “beyond reasonable doubt”. In civil cases, the standard of proof is “on the balance of probabilities”. The burden of proof falls to the prosecution or claimant to prove their case.
GMC Standard of proof – This is the civil standard of proof on a sliding scale which means the more serious the charges, the higher the level of proof required. However, the more serious the allegations, the greater the cogency of evidence which will be required to meet the standard.
Telephone Consultation Application (TCA) – A system in use by Medicolegal Advisers and Dentolegal Advisers to provide a computer held record of telephone enquiries from members in relation to new matters.