Following your feedback, Medical Protection has launched a new way of supporting you if you receive a clinical negligence claim. MPS medicolegal adviser Dr Sam Godwin explains what the changes mean
Receiving correspondence from a solicitor (or direct from a patient) in relation to a potential clinical negligence claim is a distressing experience for any MPS member. Most members start with little or no idea of what the process might involve for them, and what they need to do next.
Members can now benefit from a new way of dealing with claims, which MPS has introduced to:
- Individualise the experience – provide each member with the kind of support that they need, when and how they need it
- Provide members with information they need, when they need it most, and with the minimum of delay
- Make the process as smooth and efficient as possible, eliminating the uncertainty and stress of waiting for things to happen
- Explain in clear terms what is happening, what you need to do and when, and how you can help us to provide effective support.
Designed to provide you with an efficient and informative service, the new process will streamline the experience for members who find themselves on the receiving end of a claim. One of the problems traditionally associated with claims is the time it takes to resolve them, which in turn prolongs the potential for anxiety. We are doing everything we can to reduce that timescale, especially in the early stages before any formal legal proceedings have commenced.
"Although we naturally hope that you will not be unfortunate enough to be on the receiving end of a claim, you can rest assured that you would be well supported and in expert, professional hands if this were to happen"
The new Claims Guide
The process of a claim
Feedback indicates that you would appreciate more information about the claims process and what to expect. This new guide provides clear information about how MPS can help, and explains the legal process step by step.
Referring back to the document during the life of a claim will help you understand the stages and the timings you can expect between them. The guide will augment the ongoing support you will receive from your medicolegal adviser, together with a member of our legal team.
What you need to do
The guide provides a clear checklist of all of the information thatwe need from you to provide appropriate advice and supportfrom the earliest stage. We need to gather together all the relevant information at the very outset and the Claims Guide will help us to do this, hastening our communication with the claimant/patient or their legal representatives. Having a complete grasp of all the facts at an early stage helps us to assess your case more quickly and speed up decision-making. In a further response to member feedback we are now developing an online notification system for claims, so that you have the option of providing all of this in a way that suits you.
Robust and effective support
We are aware that subscriptions have been rising in recent years, and one of the main drivers for this has been the relentless increase in claims costs. This change is one of a series of measures designed to help stem the tide of rising costs and subscriptions, by continually reviewing and improving our internal processes. What we will not be compromising on, however, is our robust support for members.
We would greatly appreciate your feedback as we continue to roll out these developments. We are delighted that members have so far been telling us how impressed they have been with their experience of these new arrangements – so although we naturally hope that you will not be unfortunate enough to be on the receiving end of a claim, you can rest assured that you would be well supported and in expert, professional hands if this were to happen.
Some members find the experience of a claim particularly stressful. Members can access a free counselling service, which is provided independently and confidentially by Optum, who are respected experts in the provision of this kind of additional support. This service is explained to members in the new Claims Guide.
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