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The GP indemnity hub is a place where you can access information relating to the personal injury discount rate and the proposed state-backed indemnity scheme for GPs in England and Wales.

We explain what support the UK and Welsh governments will be offering to GPs, and what we are doing to make sure your concerns are being heard and acted upon.

Find out below what this all means for you and what we are doing to help.

We have actively campaigned for support for GPs from the moment the UK Government announced it was changing the PIDR.
 We have consistently pushed for reforms that address the issues within primary care, and we will continue to work with the UK and Welsh governments to ensure that the proposed schemes are fair and meet the needs of GP members.
We support members as individuals, and your professional reputation and standing is always our first concern.

In February 2017, the UK Government made a substantial change to the way in which personal injury compensation payments are calculated. The decision to lower the personal injury discount rate (PIDR) saw the rate at which payments are calculated fall from 2.5% to minus 0.75%, resulting in a significant increase to the cost of settling large clinical negligence claims, especially for GPs.

What's happened since then?

There have been a number of developments relating to clinical negligence indemnity during the last year. The first was an announcement in September 2017 from the UK Government that they planned to reform how the discount rate is set for England and Wales in future, followed by a second announcement in October that they planned to develop a state-backed indemnity scheme for GPs in England.

The UK Government swiftly followed up the state-backed indemnity announcement with an addendum (found at the bottom of page 3 in the PDF) to their original statement, where they made it absolutely clear that they do not currently plan to include any run-off cover as part of the state-backed scheme. This means GPs with claims-paid or claims-made indemnity arrangements, such as the type offered by the MDU, may be required to purchase separate cover themselves at the point they move to a state-backed scheme. 

This year, the UK Government has consulted on its plans for reforming how the discount rate is set in England and Wales. It proposes that the rate be set at a lower level and also be reviewed more often, so as to avoid sudden changes like the one that was announced last year. Emma Hallinan, Director of Claims Policy and Legal at MPS, appeared before the House of Commons Justice Select Committee to set out our support for these reforms.

Most recently, the Welsh Government has announced its decision to develop a state-backed indemnity scheme that will provide protection for all contracted GPs and other healthcare professionals working in general practice in Wales.

What will the state-backed scheme mean for me?

When introduced, the English and Welsh state-backed indemnity schemes will provide indemnity against clinical negligence claims arising from NHS contracted work, in a similar arrangement to the NHS indemnity scheme that already exists for NHS hospital doctors. There are no plans for the new schemes to include indemnity for non-contracted NHS work, or support for complaints, GMC inquiries, inquests and disciplinary proceedings, although we will continue to offer this support to GP members, just as we have for hospital doctors since NHS indemnity was introduced for them in 1990.

Both schemes are planned to come into force from April 2019, although the details are still to be finalised. In the meantime, it is imperative that you maintain your existing membership to ensure that you have appropriate and adequate indemnity in place.

The health departments in Scotland and Northern Ireland have not yet announced whether they will introduce similar arrangements as those proposed for England and Wales. Discussions are ongoing, and we will continue to work with the Scottish Government and officials in Northern Ireland to help inform their plans for protecting GPs from the rising cost of clinical negligence.

Campaigning for you

We have been absolutely clear that GPs should not have to shoulder any additional financial burden as a result of the UK Government’s decision to amend the PIDR, and have consistently pushed for the interests of GPs to be put first.  

We have campaigned over the last year to ensure that the impact of the amended PIDR was fully understood and properly taken into account in governmental discussions, and we remain actively involved in the debate regarding how the rate will be set for the future. 

Making a difference

If you are interested in learning more about what we are doing to tackle the wider issue of clinical negligence costs, then please visit our Striking a Balance campaign page.



 

We know you’ll have questions

We know that you will have questions, so we have included some Q&As to help provide you with more information. We have also provided some case studies to illustrate the effect that the PIDR change is having on the cost of clinical negligence claims.




GP Indemnity articles
Update 21/09/2018

Medical indemnity guidance from the BMA

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Medical indemnity guidance from the BMA

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The BMA has recently updated their site with some medical indemnity guidance for GPs . Included in this guidance is their assertion that clinicians working in primary care will still need to retain their MDO membership.

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Update 08/03/2018

GP state-backed indemnity - what we know so far

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GP state-backed indemnity - what we know so far

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UPDATE: Eight months after the UK Government announced its intention to provide state-backed indemnity for GPs in England, we look at what we know about the planned scheme.

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Update 26/01/2018

Dealing with a complaint

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Dealing with a complaint

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- when member benefits are much more than a ‘nice to have’. As a GP we know you’re facing constant pressure, with greater patient demands, increased regulatory control and the ever-looming risk of a complaint being made against you if something goes wrong. This is why we work hard to try and limit the stress that members face and support them wherever we can.

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Update 08/03/2018

Government GP indemnity survey

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Government GP indemnity survey

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The Government is surveying GP professionals in England to gain a clearer understanding of their needs ahead of the new state-backed scheme.

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News 25/10/2017

Adopting a considered approach in a time of uncertainty

Adopting a considered approach in a time of uncertainty

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We understand that the current indemnity situation for GPs can be confusing and uncertain following the Government’s recent announcement that it is to develop a state-backed indemnity scheme for GPs in England.

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News 12/10/2017

Government support for GPs welcomed, but caution is urged

Government support for GPs welcomed, but caution is urged

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In the latest development regarding indemnity costs for GPs, the Government has announced its decision to develop a state-backed indemnity scheme for GPs in England.

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GP indemnity case studies
Case study 14/12/2017

Anatomy of a complaint

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Anatomy of a complaint

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Back pain, paraplegia and a series of complaints – how Medical Protection helped at every step.

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Case study 24/10/2017

Missed critical limb ischaemia

Missed critical limb ischaemia

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Mr S was a 60-year-old lorry driver. He was overweight and smoked, and couldn’t walk far because he suffered with pain in his calves. This became so severe that he attended the out-of-hours service that evening.

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Case study 24/10/2017

An early presentation

An early presentation

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Baby T was eight weeks old when his mother brought him to his GP’s morning surgery.

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Case study 24/10/2017

Cauda Equina Syndrome

Cauda Equina Syndrome

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When Mrs C, a keen golfer in her early 40s, began to experience constant pain in her lower back, she consulted a GP at her local surgery.

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