MDDUS responds to appropriate clinical negligence cover consultation

PRESS RELEASE

For immediate release: Thursday, 28 February 2019

MDDUS believes there is no evidence to suggest healthcare professionals and patients will be better protected through regulation of clinical negligence cover – and that the current indemnity model remains the gold standard that serves healthcare professionals and protects patients.

The Department of Health and Social Care’s (DHSC) consultation Appropriate clinical negligence cover (which closes today) proposes a change in legislation to ensure all healthcare professionals not covered by state-backed indemnity have insurance for clinical negligence claims.

MDDUS chief executive Chris Kenny said: “As a not-for-profit mutual funded by our own members with no shareholders to pay, we have been serving and protecting our members for over 115 years. Our discretionary indemnity provides us with greater flexibility to assist our members and at the same time ensure proper compensation for patients harmed as a result of clinical negligence.

“We support regulation where there is a need but not regulation for the sake of it. Patients will not be better protected as a result of these proposals. This consultation provides no evidence of shortcomings in the current discretionary model and no evidence that regulation will better protect patients. The case for change simply hasn’t been made. And the consultation document, as our response shows, falls far short of the standards Government has set itself for considering change on this scale.

“Indeed, instead of supporting choice and proposing concrete actions on legal reform that make a real difference, Government is seeking to impose a cost increase on healthcare professionals by moving to an insurance based model that will attract a 12% insurance premium tax. Only the Chancellor of the Exchequer benefits from that change.

“This consultation is yet another missed opportunity to tackle the real issues that are driving rising costs for healthcare professionals. Regulation won’t solve the problems of increasing clinical negligence costs. If Government is serious about reducing the cost and stress burdens of unjustified litigation on the NHS and GPs, then it needs a joined-up approach on tort reform.”

You can read MDDUS’ consultation response here.

Ends

For further information contact Richard Hendry on 0333 0434444 or 07976 272266, or email rihendry@mddus.com.

Note to editors

MDDUS is the leading provider of GP indemnity in the UK with over 19,000 GP members. Founded in 1902, MDDUS is a mutual defence organisation offering expert medico-legal advice and professional indemnity for doctors and other healthcare professionals across the UK. After the introduction of the Clinical Negligence Scheme for General Practice, GPs still need comprehensive protection that CNSGP alone won’t provide. The scheme will not cover GPs for non-NHS work, representation at inquests, GMC hearings and disciplinary investigations. Such situations can seriously impact upon a GP’s career and could ultimately result in them being struck off. The scheme will also not include advice and support – something highly prized by MDDUS members. It is therefore crucial that GPs have access to support and guidance from experienced medico-legal advisers. Read  more on our CNSGP information hub here.