Please find below answers to some of the key questions that have been raised relating to your Medical Protection membership due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
What is the primary care responsibility for responding to positive SARS-CoV-2 tests?
Some MPS members working in General Practice are concerned about expectations that they assume primary responsibility for responding 24/7 to positive SARS-CoV-2 test results for enrolled patients which are delivered automatically via practice management system inboxes.
The advice laid out here describes the situation some General Practices are facing and gives MPS’s view on whether deciding not to work beyond normal hours to clear positive test results by contacting and triaging patients will give rise to legal risk.
I’m concerned that I may be required to undertake duties that are outside of my speciality or expertise to help with the effort to manage Covid-19. What is the advice, and what are the indemnity arrangements?
If you are asked to perform a duty that you would not normally undertake, regardless of the circumstances you need to assess whether you have the skills and competency to proceed.
This will include considering what is in the best interests of the patient. If you do not feel it is safe to proceed and that to do so would place the patient at greater risk of harm than not undertaking the duty that has been requested, then you should advise whoever has asked you to do so and explain your concerns.
It would be wise to record the details of this decision in case it becomes necessary to explain the reasoning behind the decision to act or not to act.
If Medical Protection members have any concerns about the duties they are currently performing to help manage Covid-19 they should contact us for advice.