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Do I need to make any payments or ‘purchase run off cover’?

No. Medical Protection general practice members will not need to make any payments to benefit from any aspect of state-backed indemnity, as you have already paid subscriptions that reflect the risk that is likely to arise from your practice. 

The Government’s confirmation that some GPs and others working in general practice will need to purchase additional ‘run-off cover’ does not apply to Medical Protection members.

We encourage you to speak to the GPs you work closely with and urge them to check their own arrangements if they are not a member of Medical Protection.

Will the Government take responsibility for claims arising from my work if it was outside of NHS contracted work?

No.  Neither new state-backed scheme - CNSGP or the ELS - will cover clinical negligence claims which relate to activity outside of NHS contracted work. If you receive a claim for clinical negligence that has arisen from work that was not performed under an NHS contract, please contact Medical Protection. 

Why did MPS push for the creation of the Existing Liabilities Scheme (ELS)?

Ever since the scheme was first announced in October 2017, MPS has worked hard to persuade the Government to provide comprehensive support to GPs and others working in general practice who receive a claim for clinical negligence. 

Discussions with the Government have gone on for many months, but we are pleased that they have now agreed to take responsibility for all clinical negligence claims, regardless of the date of the adverse incident that gave rise to the claim.  

Alongside the well-publicised Clinical Negligence Scheme for General Practice (CNSGP) for new claims after 1 April, arrangements for an Existing Liabilities Scheme (ELS) will be established shortly.

Under the ELS arrangements, the Government will assume responsibility for all existing claims against GPs, as well as claims that are brought in the future where the adverse incident date was before 1 April 2019 and related to treatment under a NHS contract. 

The arrangements will cover all Medical Protection members working in general practice.

You will be able to turn to the Government backed ELS for help no matter when in the future you become aware of a claim against you, or how much that claim eventually settles for.

This mirrors the approach that was taken for hospital doctors when their arrangements were introduced in 1990.

Without this agreement, only half the problem would have been solved.

Why has MPS transferred responsibility for general practice claims to the Government?

There are two main reasons why we have transferred responsibility for adverse incidents prior to 1 April 2019 to the Government.

Firstly, general practice members will now be able to turn to a Government-backed scheme for protection against clinical negligence claims – however much they settle for or however long in to the future they settle. 

If responsibility for these claims had stayed with MPS, you would have had a patchwork of potentially confusing arrangements for many years to come. This is because there is often a long delay between an adverse incident occurring and a clinical negligence claim arising from that incident being settled.

Secondly, we have negotiated an outcome that will strengthen MPS for all members. 

MPS is run on the basis of a perpetual member fund. We collect money from members so they can benefit from the mutual fund should they receive a clinical negligence claim or other challenge. With the introduction of state-backed indemnity, GPs in England and Wales will no longer need to contribute to the fund for their claims risk that has until now protected them against claims relating to their NHS work.

By transferring general practice liabilities along with the relevant element of subscriptions from our GP members from previous years to the Government, we are removing risk from the mutual pool and strengthening MPS for all members. 

It would not be in the best interests of our membership if we retained this money and these claims liabilities. Changes to the legal system, for example, are always possible and can drive up the cost of settling claims. If this type of adverse development occurred in the coming years, the amount contributed by general practice members could prove to be too little and it would be challenging to ask for additional contributions. 

How much money has been transferred to the Government to meet the cost of the claims?

MPS will be making a substantial contribution to the Government to help fund the new ELS scheme. 

This will come from the subscriptions that you, and other general practice members practising in England, have contributed to the MPS membership fund in previous years. 

The subscriptions you paid to MPS were to cover the cost of the risk arising from your practice. Now the Government is taking responsibility for general practice risk, we are passing across funds from the subscriptions general practice members in England have paid MPS in the past. 

We have done this so the state-backed scheme can offer you consistent and comprehensive support from clinical negligence claims long into the future.

We will publish details of the transfer to the Government in our Annual Report and Accounts for 2018.

 

Why have you transferred money from previous years’ subscriptions to the Government rather than passing this money back to GPs and other members working in general practice?

We are transferring funds to the Government so you can benefit from the new arrangements for clinical negligence claims arising from adverse incidents prior to 1 April 2019.

The subscriptions you paid to MPS were to cover the cost of the risk arising from your practice. Now the Government is taking responsibility for claims that may be brought against you in the future, we are passing across funds from the subscriptions general practice members in England have paid MPS in the past. 

If MPS did not transfer this money across to the Government, you would not be able to seek support from the state-backed scheme for any incidents that occurred before 1 April 2019.

Who will manage my claim in the next two years?

To ensure a smooth transition to the new arrangements, MPS will continue to manage existing claims for the next two years. After two years, claims will be managed by NHS Resolution.

We will also manage most new claims that arise from adverse incidents prior to 1 April 2019 that are notified as claims in the next two years.

 

Will my claim be managed to the same standards?

While we continue to manage your claim, you won’t experience a change in either the way we manage it, or to the overall team at Medical Protection working with you.

NHS Resolution already has extensive experience of managing clinical negligence claims on behalf of NHS Trusts and we will use the next two years to share our specific expertise in the management of GP claims, so you continue to benefit from high standards of claims management beyond this period.  

I have left Medical Protection, who do I turn to for assistance if a claim is brought against me in the future for an adverse incident that occurred before 1 April 2019?

For the next two years you can seek assistance from us with any claims that arise in the future from your period of membership with Medical Protection, just as you would have done previously.  After two years, claims arising from NHS contracted work will be managed by NHS Resolution. 

We will continue to manage all claims arising from non-NHS contracted work. 
If you receive a claim from an adverse event that occurred before 1 April 2019 and you had other indemnity arrangements in place for that period, you should contact that provider. 

 

If I leave Medical Protection, who do I turn to for assistance if a claim is brought against me in the future for an adverse incident that occurred before 1 April 2019?

For the next two years you can seek assistance from us with any claims that arise in the future from your period of membership with Medical Protection, just as you would have done previously.  After two years, claims arising from NHS contracted work will be managed by NHS Resolution. 

We will continue to manage all claims arising from non-NHS contracted work. 

If you receive a claim from an adverse event that occurred before 1 April 2019 and you had other indemnity arrangements in place for that period, you should contact that provider. 

What is happening in Wales?

Discussions with the Welsh Government to secure a similar arrangement for members in Wales are at an advanced stage and we will communicate with members once a clear outcome has been reached. General practice members in Wales should continue to approach MPS direct with any claims or concerns about adverse incidents that occurred before 1 April 2019. 

 

What is happening in Northern Ireland?

There are currently no plans to introduce state-backed indemnity for general practice in Northern Ireland.

We have had conversations with officials in Northern Ireland and continue to press the importance of addressing the high cost of clinical negligence and the burden this places on Medical Protection members. 

 

What is happening in Scotland?

There are currently no plans to introduce state-backed indemnity for general practice in Scotland.

We have had conversations with officials in Scotland and continue to press the importance of addressing the high cost of clinical negligence and the burden this places on Medical Protection members. 

Medical Protection is 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.

While we continue to manage your claim, you won’t experience a change in either the way we manage it, or to the overall team at Medical Protection working with you. 

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.

If I need assistance with a claim after the state-backed scheme launches, who should I contact – Medical Protection or the new scheme?

Medical Protection will continue to support general practice members in England and Wales in a variety of circumstances once the state-backed scheme begins on 1 April 2019.

The support you need for a clinical negligence claim will vary depending on whether the claim relates to an incident that occurred before 1 April 2019. It will also vary depending on whether the clinical negligence claim relates to NHS contracted work or not.

If the clinical negligence claim relates to an incident prior to 1 April 2019, please contact Medical Protection to request assistance. 

If the clinical negligence claims relates to an incident on or after 1 April 2019 and links solely to NHS contracted work, you should contact the state-backed scheme. Information on these schemes can be found on their websites:

The new state-backed scheme will not cover clinical negligence claims which relate to activity outside of NHS contracted work. It is therefore important that you ensure you have protection in place for any private or fee-paying work you do. Medical Protection membership can - at an additional cost - provide you with the right to request assistance for clinical negligence claims arising from private or fee-paying work you undertake which falls within the scope of your agreed indemnity with Medical Protection. For any claim which relates to activity outside of NHS contracted work, please contact Medical Protection to request assistance.

I am expecting a claim to be made which relates to an incident after 1 April 2019 – will Medical Protection assist me with this?

Clinical negligence claims which relate to incidents after 1 April 2019 and which arise from NHS contracted work, should be directed to state-backed scheme. Information on these schemes can be found on their websites:

The new state-backed scheme will not cover clinical negligence claims which relate to activity outside of NHS contracted work. It is therefore important that you ensure you have protection in place for any private or fee-paying work you do. Medical Protection membership can - at an additional cost - provide you with the right to request assistance for clinical negligence claims arising from private or fee-paying work you undertake which falls within the scope of your agreed indemnity with Medical Protection. For any claim which relates to activity outside of NHS contracted work, please contact Medical Protection to request assistance.

I have received notification of a likely claim that might span a period of involvement of pre April 2019 and post April 2019 in relation to NHS contracted work

If you have or think you might receive a claim where there is a sequence of events which straddles both the pre and post 1 April 2019 period, please notify Medical Protection, who will consider any claim prior to 1 April 2019. We will then work with the state-backed scheme to resolve how we will approach the indemnity for this claim.

What happens if I receive a complaint and a claim from the same adverse incident?

While NHS Resolution will help you with a claim for clinical negligence in relation to your NHS contracted work, Medical Protection can provide you with assistance for GMC proceedings, coroners’ inquests, disciplinary matters, criminal investigations and all other issues arising out of your professional practice.

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