Membership information 0800 561 9000
Medicolegal advice 0800 561 9090

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  • Q
    Does my membership apply to ‘good neighbour acts’?
    +
    16 September 2016

    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.

  • Q
    Is there a limit on the level of indemnity you provide?
    +
    03 August 2016
    No – for our members with occurrence-based protection, we do not place limits on the indemnity that may be requested.
  • Q
    I have heard that you may increase my subscription as a result of me calling for advice to help deal with a patient complaint. Is this true?
    +
    06 July 2016
    No, we do not use the number of telephone calls from a member seeking advice to increase their subscription. We understand that the majority are everyday issues and are not necessarily an indicator of future risk. Instead we make careful and considered decisions about the risk profile of a member based on their individual circumstance, and use this to determine any subsequent actions that we take.

    Our approach to risk carefully balances the needs of the individual member with those of the membership as a whole. We are well aware of the potential impact that claims and regulatory proceedings can have on a member’s career,  and believe that prevention is better than cure.  We aim to alert members when their risk profile differs from that of their peers, and work with them to reduce their risk, although this may not always be possible.  
    Our focus is to protect and support the professional interests of over 300,000 members around the world. We believe that the majority of members should not be compromised by the small minority who receive a comparatively high volume of claims, and in these instances we will act to ensure that their actions do not adversely affect the mutual fund.
     
    However, for the majority  of members, the number and nature of claims and regulatory proceedings brought against them do not result in them being deemed an higher risk, or having their subscription rates increased.

    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.
  • Q
    Does my membership apply to Good Samaritan acts?
    +
    17 June 2016
    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.

    We consider that a response to the GoodSAM App, provided it is in accordance with the GoodSAM App code of conduct, falls within our definition of a Good Samaritan Act.
  • Q
    What is the definition of a Good Samaritan act?
    +
    17 June 2016

    Medical Protection defines a Good Samaritan act as one in which medical assistance is given, free of charge, in a bona fide medical emergency upon which you may chance, in a personal as opposed to a professional capacity, eg, assisting a fellow spectator at an event.

    For doctors, ignoring such a predicament is never an option. When called into action while off duty, you must remember to make a full clinical record after treatment. There will be millions of people at the Games and, in this scenario, you must assess your own competence in handling the situation – eg, you may be under the influence of alcohol – and proceed accordingly.

    Only intervene if the situation is an emergency. Any situation that is beyond your competence may still benefit from your input, to a degree. For example, you can use your clinical skills to take a history, make an examination to reach a preliminary assessment, and give an indication of the likely differential diagnosis. You can also suggest options for the management of the situation pending arrival of support.

    In the unlikely event that legal proceedings follow, members would be entitled to apply for assistance, no matter which country the legal proceedings are commenced in, which is important as many spectators will be drawn from around the world.
  • Q
    Why do I need to join MPS?
    +
    20 May 2016

    All medical practitioners need access to professional indemnity to protect them from the pitfalls of practising.

    Any doctor - from those in training up to the most experienced qualified doctor - may find themselves the subject of a complaint, investigation by the GMC, or disciplinary action by their employer. It is therefore essential that they have their own protection in place through membership of a specialist organisation such as MPS.

    MPS membership can provide you with the support you need from your first day at medical school to the day you graduate, and throughout your career.

    MPS helps doctors with the legal and ethical problems that arise from their professional practice. Members turn to us for help with a wide range of professional queries and problems. They get immediate access to advice from a team of doctors and lawyers who are specialists in the legal aspects of medicine. We provide:

    • Telephone advisory service available 24/7
    • Specialist legal advice and representation
    • Complaints handling service
    • Help with writing reports
    • Quality service for all members.

    Remember, MPS is not only here for you when things go wrong. We have a whole host of educational benefits that will help and support you through your studies.

  • Q
    How do I apply for membership with MPS?
    +
    20 May 2016
    Students can apply online for free MPS membership. All other doctors can access application forms from the Join MPS section of the website (see the "Join" button at the top of the page). Please ensure you read the important information at the bottom of the page before completing the application and returning it to the address shown at the top of the form.

    The application must be completed in full and signed and dated within two months of your required membership start date.

    Your application can be submitted by post, fax or email.
  • Q
    What is MPS?
    +
    20 May 2016
    MPS is the world’s leading medical defence organisation, putting members first by providing professional support and expert medicolegal advice throughout their careers. We have more than 300,000 members worldwide. 

    MPS has been helping doctors who find themselves in medicolegal difficulties since 1892. We are here to help and support members when they need it. We work only for the benefit of our members, and have no external commercial or shareholder interests to distract us.

    A recent survey of our members provided the following feedback:

    “I have contacted MPS on a number of occasions for general advice and have always been very impressed by the services I received.”

    “Very quick responses, clear advice and guidance, a sympathetic ear.”

    “Speedy, efficient, courteous, knowledgeable – I have always been impressed by the MPS and my latest enquiry only strengthened my good opinion.”
  • Q
    I will be taking a career break/going on maternity leave/retiring soon. How does this affect my membership?
    +
    20 May 2016

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

    As a retired or deferred member with occurrence-based protection, you pay no subscription, still receive the MPS journal, Casebook, and our Annual Report and Accounts, and can apply for MPS assistance with any medicolegal problems arising from a “good Samaritan act”.

    However, if you decide to leave MPS, 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.

  • Q
    I have lost my membership certificate. Do you charge for sending out a duplicate?
    +
    01 October 2014

    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.

  • Q
    What is NHS indemnity and what does it cover?
    +
    01 October 2014
    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.

    More information about NHS indemnity
  • Q
    Do I get a reduced subscription rate if I participate in MPS education?
    +
    22 September 2014

    No, not at present. MPS sets its subscription rates to reflect the risks of various groups of doctors who share similar characteristics – for example specialty groupings. Therefore, the rate you pay is set to reflect the level of potential risk. 

    At the present time the main benefits to the individual practitioner of engaging with our educational programs are:

    • Enhanced risk management skills
    • Improved patient outcomes
    • Reduced likelihood of involvement with claims or complaints and the associated stress, worry and inconvenience they bring.
  • Q
    Can I do voluntary work overseas?
    +
    17 September 2014
    MPS may offer professional protection for volunteer doctors working for a recognised charity or humanitarian organisation. Please contact us as soon as possible on +44 113 243 6436 or email international@mps.org.uk if you intend to work in this capacity.
  • Q
    Can I undertake cosmetic procedures?
    +
    17 September 2014
    MPS 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 an MPS membership adviser to discuss your plans in advance.
  • Q
    Does my membership renew automatically?
    +
    17 September 2014

    Yes, if you pay by direct debit.

    That is one of the advantages of paying by direct debit - you are not at risk of any unintended gaps in your membership. However, you must contact us if your professional or personal circumstances or your contact details change.

    If you pay by cheque or credit card, you will automatically receive renewal information. We will send you your membership certificate once we receive your payment.

    To set up a direct debit, please contact one of our membership advisers.

  • Q
    In addition to clinical negligence, will MPS assist with other liability arising from my practice?
    +
    02 September 2014

    Extended liability

    MPS 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 MPS 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 MPS 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
  • Q
    I'm worried about something that's happened. Can I talk to MPS about it?
    +
    02 September 2014
    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.
  • Q
    Will you still help me if I leave MPS?
    +
    01 September 2014
    ​Where you are eligible for MPS’s occurrence-based protection you can seek assistance for any complaint or claim arising from an adverse incident that took place during membership of MPS – even if it is brought years later, or if you have long since left MPS. Occurrence-based protection means you do not need to make any further arrangements for long-term protection after your membership ends.

 

Have a question which isn't listed here?