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Below you'll find answers to some commonly asked questions from new members, current members and those seeking medicolegal advice.

New member

How do I apply for membership with Medical Protection?

Students can apply online for free MPS membership. All other medical professionals can get a quote and apply for membership from the Join Medical Protection section of the website (see the "Join Today" button at the top of the page), then select your individual membership category.

Please ensure you read the important information at the bottom of the page before starting your quote. More information for applicants can be found here.

Is there a limit on the level of indemnity you provide?

No – for our members with occurrence-based protection, we do not place limits on the indemnity that may be requested.

In addition to clinical negligence, can Medical Protection assist with other liability arising from my practice?

Extended liability

Membership grants the right to request indemnity in relation to your own clinical practice. However, as an owner or partner in a practice you may be responsible for liability arising from other elements of the business, for example:

  • vicarious liability for the acts and omissions of other healthcare professionals or staff at your practice;
  • liability for products that are sold at your practice;
  • liability in relation to the safety of the practice environment; and
  • liability for non-clinical matters such as taxes and the performance of contracts entered into by or on behalf of your practice.

In addition, for practices structured as unlimited liability partnerships, partners are jointly and severally liable for actions brought against the partnership, so you may be liable for the actions or omissions of a fellow partner.

It is important to understand that the subscription for an individual Medical Protection member is calculated on the basis of the risk represented by that member alone. In the interests of fairness across the membership as a whole, where you are exposed to additional liabilities (such as those listed above), you do not have the right request indemnity for matters beyond your own clinical practice, unless your membership grade is expressly extended to cover these. There are various additional packages that Medical Protection offers, to help you manage some of the wider risk that you might face in the course of your practice:

UK GP Membership

Given the typical structure of general medical practices in the UK, we offer additional benefits in the GP membership category, including for solo practitioners and those practising in an unlimited partnership. It is likely that, in addition to the standard benefits of membership, UK GPs would be granted assistance with requests relating to claims of negligence against any of their employed non-clinical administrative staff (e.g. the practice manager, receptionists and secretaries), or in relation to clinical staff such as health care assistants, phlebotomists, and dispensers where it can be shown that such staff were acting under appropriately delegated authority and were adequately trained, supervised, working to practice protocols and not making ‘standalone’ clinical judgments. 

Find out more about GP membership

Practice Xtra membership

GP practices (structured as unlimited liability partnerships) can enrol in the Practice Xtra programme, which provides discounted membership for other clinical staff, grants membership to certain employed staff in their own right, and gives a practice access to advice on employment law and health and safety, as well as to other risk management services. 

Find out more about Practice Xtra

Corporate membership

Limited companies can apply to MPS for membership in their own right. Corporate membership can be tailored to the needs and risks of your business and (for example) can provide the company, and the officers of the company, with access to assistance and indemnity in respect of the defence and/or settlement of clinical negligence claims made against the company. Corporate members may also apply for assistance in dealing with complaints and managing adverse incidents arising from an employee’s clinical work, and liability-capped and claims-made options are also available. 

Find out more about corporate and group membership

Find out more about the limitations of MPS membership

What is NHS indemnity and what does it cover?

In England, the Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts (CNST), administered by the NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA), provides an indemnity to NHS employees in respect of clinical negligence claims arising from events occurring in the context of NHS employment in England. It meets any damages and claimants’ costs which are found due, and legal defence costs. It may provide assistance at inquests/FAIs in some circumstances. Similar schemes operate in Scotland (CNORIS), Wales (WRP), and the Northern Ireland Office runs a risk pooling scheme.

Find out more about NHS indemnity by clicking here.

The UK and Welsh governments also introduced state-backed indemnity schemes for GPs and others working in general practice in England and Wales.

Both the England and Wales state-backed indemnity schemes provide indemnity against clinical negligence claims arising from NHS contracted work – in a similar arrangement to the NHS indemnity scheme for NHS hospital doctors. The schemes do not include indemnity for non-contracted NHS work, or provide support for complaints, GMC inquiries, inquests and disciplinary proceedings.

Find out what state-backed indemnity means for general practitioners here, or visit our GP indemnity hub.

Current member

Do I get a reduced subscription rate if I participate in risk prevention workshops, webinars and e-learning?

No, not at present. The main benefits of engaging with our educational programs are:

  • Enhanced risk management and prevention skills
  • Improved patient outcomes
  • Reduced likelihood of involvement with claims or complaints and the associated stress, worry and inconvenience they bring.

I will be taking a career break/going on maternity leave/retiring soon. How does this affect my membership?

Members who retire, take a career break or who otherwise stop practising medicine voluntarily - either temporarily or permanently (excluding holidays), can request to retain their Medical Protection membership in the retired/deferred category.

As a retired or deferred member with occurrence-based protection, you pay no subscription and can still apply for assistance with any medicolegal problems arising from a “Good Samaritan act”.

However, if you decide to leave Medical Protection membership, then you will not be entitled to any assistance in relation to a Good Samaritan act if the incident occurs after your membership has ended. You must also inform us before you resume practice, so that we can ensure you are placed in the correct category of membership.

Members with claims-made protection should contact us to find out how a break will affect their membership.

Can I undertake cosmetic procedures?

Medical Protection defines cosmetic/aesthetic procedures as those which have as their primary purpose the alteration of the non-pathological external appearance of a patient. 

If you are not an accredited plastic surgeon and you are considering undertaking any cosmetic/aesthetic procedures, whether surgical or non-surgical, you must contact a membership adviser to discuss your plans in advance.

Does my membership apply to ‘good neighbour acts’?

Good neighbour acts generally refer to the professional provision of medical care on a community basis – such as helping out at local sporting or similar planned events.

We do not provide the right to request indemnity for this type of care, unless it is something that we have previously been made aware of, and have therefore included in your membership subscription.

Regardless of whether the medical care you provide is on a paid for or voluntary basis, you are still at risk of a claim or complaint being made against you, and as such, you need to ensure that you have arrangements in place to protect against the possibility of this.

In the first instance, check with the club or organisers of the event to determine if they are providing a medical indemnity or insurance arrangement for you. If they are not, then please call our membership team on 0800 561 9000 to discuss your requirements with us.

Please note that ‘good neighbour acts’ are different to ‘Samaritan Acts’. For more information on Good Samaritan Acts, see our other FAQs.

Does my membership apply to Good Samaritan acts?

Yes. In the unlikely event that you are sued as a result of a Good Samaritan act, you can apply for assistance from Medical Protection, no matter where in the world the action is brought.

Can I do voluntary work overseas?

At Medical Protection we understand the vital role that humanitarian care plays worldwide, especially in times of crisis. That is why humanitarian protection is something we’ve offered for many years.

You can request protection for humanitarian work if…
• Your membership is current
• You have been in membership for a minimum of 6 months
• You are working for a recognised charity or humanitarian organisation
• You contact Medical Protection before you intend to travel
• You have met all of the destination country’s professional criteria
• Your intended work excludes the management of pregnancies 

In addition, you can request the benefit of membership relating to humanitarian work for up to 6 months in any 12-month membership period. This can be applied to shorter periods of travel, or for a single 6-month period.

Other things medical volunteers need to know

As a volunteer, you are always responsible for checking that you understand and follow the laws and regulations of the country where you will be volunteering, including any requirements for work permits or visas. You also need to understand and follow any professional obligations such as registration or licensing, and the rules about the type of indemnity you are required to have.

Members who have met all of a country’s professional criteria can request assistance from us. However, this is only available for matters brought within the member’s home territory.

The benefits of membership (including the right to request indemnity) do not extend to any matters arising from the management of a pregnancy under humanitarian care.

If you would like any further details about the humanitarian protection that we provide, please contact us on 0800 561 9000 or email [email protected]

Am I indemnified to undertake the Harmony prenatal test when it is offered privately?

Those who are on obstetrics/gynaecology, paediatric and GPs on their current grade can request indemnity for undertaking the Harmony prenatal test provided members ensure:

  • patients are adequately counselled and consented
  • patients are appropriately followed up
  • full records are maintained (including records of the counselling and consent, as well as follow up arrangements).

As a GP, does my indemnity allow me to undertake tongue-tie division procedures?

GPs who have full Medical Protection membership can request indemnity for tongue-tie division if:

  • they have appropriate training and experience
  • patients/parents are properly informed of the procedure, this includes the risks as well as potential complications, and consent has been obtained before proceeding
  • it is performed in an appropriate setting. Procedures not carried out in clinical premises must be undertaken in a safe environment with adequate and appropriate facilities.

I have lost my membership certificate. Do you charge for sending out a duplicate?

No. Give us a call on 0800 561 9000 and we will send you a replacement. Calls to Membership Services may be recorded for monitoring and training purposes.

Alternatively you can download a PDF version from the "Manage my membership" section of the MPS website.

Medicolegal advice

Does requesting advice affect my annual membership subscription?

We actively encourage members to contact us for advice to provide peace of mind and to help prevent a concern or problem escalating.

Medical Protection does not use the number of requests for advice as part of its risk assessment of a member. This includes determining their membership subscription.

In exceptional cases, where a request for advice involves facts or circumstances of a highly unusual or unique nature it might trigger a general review of an individual’s risk profile. However, we stress that this would be very unusual.

So, if you want to discuss a medico-legal issue or need advice on how to prevent a concern or problem escalating, please do let us know - we are only a phone call away.

I'm worried about something that's happened. Can I talk to Medical Protection about it?

If you are concerned about any issue or incident which has occurred in your capacity as a doctor or other healthcare worker, we would encourage you to get in touch immediately to ask our advice. There is no stigma attached to seeking guidance or support, and we would rather you asked for help in time to avoid a problem instead of waiting and hoping for the best, only to find yourself in greater difficulties later.

Will you still help me if I leave Medical Protection?

Where you are eligible for Medical Protection’s occurrence-based protection you can seek assistance for any complaint or claim arising from an adverse incident that took place during membership of Medical Protection – even if it is brought years later, or if you have long since left membership. Occurrence-based protection means you do not need to make any further arrangements for long-term protection after your membership ends.

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