Mandatory indemnity for nurses
From October 2013 all regulated healthcare professionals, including nurses, will be required by law to have professional indemnity cover as a condition of their registration.
It will be an individual nurse’s responsibility to ensure they have appropriate indemnity arrangements in place to cover the entirety of their practice. Whilst most employed nurses will be indemnified through their employer they will still be responsible for checking that their employer’s indemnity arrangements cover all of their work.
For more information visit: http://www.nmc-uk.org/Registration/Professional-indemnity-insurance/
Do the benefits of my MPS membership include indemnity for nurses?
They have a responsibility to check what is covered by their employer's indemnity
If you are an unlimited GP partnership, including single-handed practitioners, then it is likely that MPS would assist with claims of negligence against any of your employed nurses undertaking basic duties* for which you are vicariously liable.
However, it is unlikely that MPS would assist with claims against any nurses undertaking advanced duties**, such as a nurse practitioner or prescriber.
If your practice is a member of the MPS group scheme – Practice Xtra – then we can provide individual indemnity only membership for nurses undertaking advanced duties. In most cases this can be provided at no additional cost as a benefit of Practice Xtra.
Find out more about vicarious liability, or MPS Practice Xtra
*MPS associate level 3 **MPS associate level 4 or above
Practices must alert patients about data extraction
Practices in England have less than eight weeks to make patients aware that the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) will begin extracting data.
NHS England is commissioning a modern data service from the HSCIC on behalf of the entire health and social care system.
Under the Health and Social Care Act 2012, NHS England has the power to direct the HSCIC to collect information from all providers of NHS care including general practices. The data to be extracted by GP practices were considered by the Joint GP IT Committee of the British Medical Association and the Royal College of General Practitioners, as well as an independent advisory group.
The General Practice Extraction Service (GPES) will be used to extract GP data each month. Initially the data will cover the period from April 2013 onwards. The identifiers to be extracted are: NHS number, date of birth, postcode, and gender which will allow patients’ GP data to be linked to their hospital data. No free text will be extracted, only coded information about referrals, NHS prescriptions and other clinical data. To view the technical specification of the extract visit the NHS England website.
MPS is aware of practices who are unaware that Healthwatch, a body that has replaced LINKS, has the right to "enter and view" and observe practices, under section 225 of the Health and Social Care Act 2007. Healthwatch has the power to recommend that action is taken by the Care Quality Commission when there are concerns about a health and social care service. It is anticipated that Healthwatch will share reports of their visits with the CQC. MPS is aware of practices who were given 24 hours’ notice before Healthwatch entered their premises. Read more
BMA flags unsafe practices regarding test result
The BMA General Practitioners Committee has issued a brief note about UK hospitals’ duty of care to patients regarding test results.
The note states: “It has come to the GPC’s attention that in some areas, some hospital doctors have been instructing GPs to find out the test results that the hospital had ordered.
“Both the General Practitioners Committee and the Consultants Committee of the BMA agree that this practice is potentially unsafe, and that the ultimate responsibility for ensuring that results are acted upon rests with the person ordering the test ("the referrer") and that responsibility can only be delegated to someone else if they accept that responsibility by prior agreement.
“Handover of responsibility has to be a joint consensual decision between hospital team and GP, and if the GP has not accepted that role, the referrer must retain responsibility.”
Changes to performers lists for GPs
A recent change to the NHS (Performers Lists) (England) Regulations 2013 places doctors under an obligation to inform the NHS England Area Team if they are called to give evidence at an inquest in the capacity of a Properly Interested Person (as opposed to a Witness).
If a GP is called to give evidence at an inquest, they should establish whether or not they are being called in the capacity of a Properly Interested Person or a Witness in order to determine as to whether or not they are under an obligation to inform the NHS England Area Team. Read more here >>
New GMC obligations
There is now an obligation (set out at paragraph 75[a] of Good Medical Practice) for a doctor to inform the GMC (without delay) in circumstances when they have been criticised by an official inquiry (which would include a coroner’s inquest).
If a GP is concerned that they may be (or have been) criticised in the context of a coroner’s inquest then they should contact MPS at the earliest possible opportunity. Further information >>
News in brief
Monitor is to examine whether GP services operate in the best interest of patients. The health sector regulator wants to hear and receive evidence from patients, GPs, commissioners and other providers of primary and secondary care. This is not a formal investigation under Monitor's enforcement powers, nor is it a review of the quality of individual GP practices in England. Monitor will publish an update and set out any next steps in autumn 2013. Visit: www.monitor.gov.uk/node/3902 and follow Monitor on Twitter – @MonitorUpdate.
NHS England has issued guidance explaining where responsibility for payment rests as patients move between different parts of the new NHS structure. Who pays? Determining responsibility for Payments to Providers: Rules and Guidance for Clinical Commissioning Groups sets out the circumstances in which a CCG is responsible for paying for a patient’s care.
European cross border healthcare: Information for commissioners sets out the associated roles and responsibilities of NHS England, Clinical Commissioning Groups and Commissioning Support Units and summarises the requirements of the EU Directive on cross border healthcare, which becomes UK law in October 2013.