What next for medical indemnity arrangements?

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As the Government’s consultation on appropriate clinical negligence cover comes to a close, we highlight the key questions asked and the potential impact of the findings for healthcare professionals and potential claimants.

As we publish this article, the Government’s consultation on appropriate clinical negligence cover [insert link to document] comes to a close. That consultation was about indemnity cover for healthcare professionals purchasing indemnity cover because they are not covered by existing or proposed state-backed schemes.

The consultation asked for views on two options:

  1. Leaving arrangements as they are (but do you know what they are? Many do not as a Departmental survey of GPs established – see below).
  2. Changing legislation to require healthcare professionals who are not covered by any state-backed scheme to hold cover that is regulated - the point being that current cover provided by discretionary indemnity providers such as the defence organisations, is not regulated.

Healthcare professionals practising in the UK are legally required to hold appropriate clinical negligence cover for the costs of claims and damages awarded to patients arising from malpractice. We have often asked why an unregulated, non-enforceable, discretionary, indemnity arrangement is considered appropriate. That is a question the Government is now finally addressing.

The concern is that current arrangement in place for the majority of healthcare professionals could prevent patients receiving appropriate compensation when they make a claim for compensation, and could also make healthcare professionals personally liable for the costs of claims, as well as potentially being in breach of their legal obligation to have appropriate cover in place.

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