Following many months of negotiations with the UK Government, we were pleased to secure an arrangement for an Existing Liabilities Scheme (ELS) to run alongside the Clinical Negligence Scheme for General Practice (CNSGP) for Medical Protection members in England.
Under the ELS arrangement the Government has taken responsibility for all existing clinical negligence claims against those working in general practice, along with any claim brought in the future that relates to treatment under a NHS contract, where the adverse incident date was before 1 April 2019.
This positive outcome means that all these claims – however much they settle for or however long in to the future they settle – are now the responsibility of the UK Government. This approach is similar to the one that was taken for hospital doctors when their arrangements were introduced in 1990, and is something we argued for since the proposals for state-backed general practice indemnity were first announced.
Currently, we are the only medical defence organisation to agree such terms with the Government. The MDU – which has not, to date, agreed terms for an ELS for their members – has recently announced that it is taking legal action against the Government over what it says is “the failure of the new NHS indemnity scheme to cover GPs for incidents from before the scheme was introduced” adding that “it is a ‘concern’ that many GPs do not have cover for existing liabilities.”
Responding to the latest development, Simon Kayll, Chief Executive of MPS, said: “We secured a good outcome on historical NHS clinical negligence liabilities for Medical Protection members back in April. Our agreement covers more than a third of GPs in England and we believe it would be good if all GPs could benefit from the same positive arrangements.
Medical Protection’s general practice members in England are able to turn to the Government backed scheme for help no matter when in the future they become aware of a claim, or how much that claim eventually settles for.
To ensure a smooth transition to the new arrangements, we will continue to manage existing claims for the next two years, after which time claims will be managed by NHS Resolution.”
For more information about the Existing Liabilities Scheme visit our Q&As page.