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Existing Liabilities Scheme questions and answers

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A clinical negligence claim has been made against me which relates to an adverse incident before 1 April 2019. Will this be dealt with by Medical Protection or the new state-backed scheme?

To ensure a smooth transition to the new arrangements, we will continue to manage existing claims for the next two years. 

General practice members in England and Wales should therefore continue to come to Medical Protection about any claims which relate to incidents before 1 April 2019.

When do I need to check my details by?

You need to have checked your details by 30 April 2019 at the latest. Up until this date we will be able to backdate any protection requirements you have to 1 April 2019. However, from 1 May 2019 this will not be possible and this may result in a gap in your indemnity. To ensure this doesn’t happen, please:

  1. Go online at MyMPS or call Member Services to confirm that the details we hold are correct before 30 April 2019
  2. Provide us with details of any higher risk activities you do as part of your primary care contract (for example fitting contraceptive implants, cosmetic/aesthetic medicine, or out of hours sessions)
  3. Apply for Claims Protection if you do any fee-paying or private work outside of your primary care contract
  4. Provide us with details of any higher risk activities you do as part of your fee-paying or private work

I’ve heard that some GPs will need to purchase ‘run-off cover’ – does this affect me?

No, the announcements by the Government and NHS Resolution that some GPs will need to purchase additional ‘run-off cover’ do not apply to Medical Protection members. This is because you have occurrence-based indemnity as part of your membership, and as such, have already paid subscriptions that reflect the risk that is likely to arise from your practice. There is no need for you to make any additional payment. 

Do I need to add Claims Protection if I fit contraceptive coils and implants?

If you undertake this work within a primary medical services contract, then you will not need to add Claims Protection. However this work carries a slightly higher risk and therefore must be declared when purchasing Professional Protection.
 

Do I need to add Claims Protection if I do minor surgery as part of my work in general practice?

If you undertake minor surgery within your NHS services contract this work will be covered within the new state backed indemnity scheme. 

However if you undertake minor surgery through a fee paying or private clinic then you will require indemnity and you should therefore purchase claims protection. 

Minor surgery is within our higher risk category and therefore this should be declared when you apply for Professional Protection and again if you apply for Claims Protection.
 

What does a state-backed indemnity scheme mean for my membership?

The state-backed indemnity scheme provides GPs and others working in general practice with access to a similar arrangement to the claims indemnity that is provided to NHS hospital doctors. 

The scheme will only provide indemnity for clinical negligence claims incurred on or after 1 April 2019 and arising from incidents in connection with the provision of primary medical services under a GMS, PMS or APMS contract. We believe that many GPs and others working in general practice would therefore need to retain their membership with Medical Protection.  If they undertake any private work, they would need to consider additional claims indemnity for this work that isn’t covered by the state-backed scheme.

More information on the Clinical Negligence Scheme for General Practice is available on the NHS Resolution website.

Will I have to pay for the new state-backed indemnity scheme?

NHS Resolution has confirmed that no payments are required in order to access the state-backed scheme. It has been confirmed by NHS Resolution that there will also be no formal membership or registration requirements for individuals, practices or organisations.

More information on the Clinical Negligence Scheme for General Practice is available on the NHS Resolution website.

Medical Protection are already supporting me with a claim that relates to an incident prior to 1 April 2019. Will you continue to support me with this claim?

Yes. If we are already assisting you with a claim then we will continue to assist you with this claim after 1 April 2019.

Will nurses and allied healthcare professionals need Medical Protection membership once the state-backed indemnity scheme comes into place?

The state-backed scheme will be in place for general practice staff delivering primary medical services which includes nurses and AHPs. However, state-backed indemnity won’t provide support for things such as complaints, regulatory inquiries, inquests and disciplinary proceedings. Maintaining your Medical Protection membership means that you can continue to request this support, along with other member benefits, such as media advice and industry leading education and risk management resources.

I’m a GP Trainee, how will my membership change once the state-backed indemnity scheme comes into place?

From 1 April 2019, GP Trainees will be included in the scope of the state-backed scheme. However, the scheme will not provide protection for regulatory, disciplinary and legal matters. Maintaining your Medical Protection membership means that you can continue to request this support, along with other member benefits, such as media advice and industry leading education and risk management resources.

As your current subscription provides access to indemnity for clinical negligence claims, you may be entitled to a partial refund. 

A claim has just been made against me. Will I have to wait for it to be resolved before I can move to the new scheme?

No. You will not have to wait for the claim to be resolved before you can move to the state-backed scheme. If we are already assisting you with a claim we will continue to assist you with this claim after 1 April 2019.

Will Medical Protection assist with clinical negligence claims made against staff I employ where these fall outside the scope of state-backed indemnity?

Partners with Claims Protection will be able to request assistance for clinical negligence claims arising from their own fee paying and private work. The protection also extends to clinical negligence claims arising from these activities undertaken by members of the practice team who are not required to hold individual indemnity.

For example, this would include receptionists, HCAs and phlebotomists. You must ensure that your salaried GPs and other autonomous members of staff such as nurse practitioners and advanced nurse practitioners have their own Claims Protection for any fee-paying and private work they carry out.
 

What happens if I don’t check and confirm my details?

Your current membership will automatically change on 1 April to a new Professional Protection membership, which is most closely aligned with your current membership. If you wish to add on Claims Protection, please visit MyMPS to complete a Claims Protection application.

How do I calculate the number of sessions I work?

A session is defined as a continuous period of work between 3.5 and 5 hours in duration. If you are employed for a set number of hours, this should be divided by four to obtain the number of sessions. (For example, if you are employed to work 24 hours each week, this would equate to 6 sessions).

Please include all private, fee-paying and NHS primary medical services contract work including clinical, telephone triage and administrative sessions within your total.

If you work in both a general practitioner role and an NHS non-consultant hospital doctor role, such as clinical assistant, please add up your total working hours and divide by four to obtain the total number of sessions you work.

I am a GP but work one session a week as a non-consultant hospital doctor. Will Professional Protection cover me for this work?

Yes, Professional Protection will offer you protection across the work you do in both a general practitioner role and an NHS non-consultant hospital doctor role.
To calculate the total number of sessions you require Professional Protection for, please add up your total working hours for your GP and NHS non-consultant hospital doctor role.

I work as a salaried GP and do a small amount of fee paying work. I don’t earn anything extra for this work – do I need to purchase Claims Protection?

Yes. You should apply for Claims Protection for the non-NHS work you do, and declare your income as zero for this. When asked to select an income band, you can choose from the lowest one (£0-£2,500).

What should I do if I work an irregular number of sessions each week eg as a locum?

For those doctors who do irregular sessions or work on an irregular basis, Medical Protection accepts a weekly number of sessions averaged over the membership year.

What do you mean by fee-paying work?

Fee-paying work is anything you do that is outside of your NHS contract and is paid for by the patient. Examples would include insurance forms, medical reports, private prescriptions, travel vaccinations etc.

Why do you need to know how much I earn from private or fee-paying work?

Your Claims Protection subscription will be tailored to your individual circumstances.

This is calculated using your profession and the amount of income that is generated by you for your practice during the membership year.

Can I apply for Claims Protection membership if I do not have Professional Protection?

No. You must hold Professional Protection membership with us to be able to add Claims Protection to it.

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