The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) is seeking views about indemnity cover for healthcare professionals who are not covered by any existing or proposed state-backed scheme, via an open consultation which closes on 28 February.
Commenting, Simon Kayll, Chief Executive of MPS, said:
"Discretionary indemnity as offered by MPS has met the needs of healthcare professionals and patients for over 100 years and continues to do so. The Government admits in their consultation document that they are only aware of a limited number of cases where current arrangements have caused problems for patients or healthcare professionals and the few examples referenced do not relate to the actions of MPS.
"We are particularly concerned that the proposals would mean doctors have to pay additional costs – including the cost of insurance premium tax – at a time when the rising cost of clinical negligence is becoming increasingly unaffordable. We are also concerned that some insurance products offered may include limits and exclusions which do not adequately protect doctors against a claim; discretionary indemnity does not have such limits or exclusions.
"As an alternative, we advocate introducing a mandatory Code of Conduct for the discretionary providers, which amongst other things would set out agreed principles for financial transparency and an independent complaints function.
“It is also vital that the Government progresses its long awaited strategy for controlling the rising cost of clinical negligence. Urgent action is needed to ensure that the cost of clinical negligence is balanced with society’s ability to pay.”
For press enquiries, please contact the MPS press office.