The Government has announced its intention to develop a new state-backed scheme for clinical negligence indemnity, for GPs in England
Commenting, Simon Kayll, CEO at the Medical Protection Society (MPS), said:
“The Government’s decision to change the discount rate significantly increased the cost of settling claims where there is an element of future care costs or loss of earnings, at a time when the cost of clinical negligence was already at risk of becoming unsustainable.
“The fact that the Government has recognised the importance of protecting GPs from the increased costs, after months of discussions, is positive. A scheme which would in time deliver access to state-backed indemnity for all NHS doctors in England – reflecting the changing nature of primary care - will be welcome news to many GPs.
“This new scheme would not however solve the underlying issue of rising clinical negligence costs. The cost of claims will always need to be paid for, and will continue to increase unless the root of the issue is tackled, through legal reform.
“There are also a number of decisions yet to be made, around the cost of the new scheme and how it will operate. It is important that the Government develops this detail as soon as possible - GPs will need certainty that the ‘small print’ is fair and meets their needs and we will continue to push the Government to ensure this happens swiftly.
“MPS is the largest UK based medical protection organisation with more than 300,000 members globally, and we are in a strong position to adapt to the changing face of indemnity. The new scheme would not include assistance with complaints, GMC inquiries, inquests, disciplinary proceedings or indemnity for non-NHS activity. MPS would continue to provide this support to GP’s – just as we have for hospital doctors since NHS indemnity was introduced for them in 1990.”
Notes to editors
Jeremy Hunt is scheduled to provide more information on the Government’s plans in his speech at the RCGP conference later this morning. Please contact the DH press office for more information.
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The Medical Protection Society (“MPS”) is the world’s leading protection organisation for doctors, dentists and healthcare professionals. We protect and support the professional interests of more