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NEWS: MDU warning over state indemnity scheme small print

by in GP Practice Management, News

The Union is warning GPs about the impact on GPs of the Clinical Negligence Scheme for General Practice rules.

It alleges that NHS Resolution (NHSR) can pass on information GPs provide for claims to bodies such as the GMC or NHS England for performers list investigations.

Dr Christine Tomkins, MDU chief executive, said it was “seriously concerned” about the change and the lack of transparency about how decisions to refer a case will be made.

“We expect most GPs have no idea that, if it thinks there is a public interest in doing so, NHSR intends to share information provided for a claim with the GMC or for performers list or other investigations,” she said.

“What’s more there are no plans to warn GPs their information is about to be shared or give them an opportunity to comment. We don’t think this is fair.”

The MDU warned that other aspects of the scheme remain unclear, including the fact that indemnity is discretionary and the regulations governing the scheme mean that GPs can be excluded if they have made an admission of liability without first obtaining the Secretary of State’s written consent.

The Union says there is no definition of what is meant by this, which could create tension for GPs between their duty to comply with other investigations in an open and honest way and NHSR’s decision to assist them with a claim.

“We have been assisting GPs with the whole range of medico-legal issues for many years,” said Dr Tomkins.

“We advise them to make open and honest statements during disciplinary and other procedures and this has not affected our ability to maintain an 80% success rate of defending GP claims successfully.

“We have asked NHSR to provide a definition of an admission of liability. Ideally this should have happened before the scheme started and it is now urgent because GPs are beginning to report incidents to us.

“We will continue to work with NHSR to try to resolve these issues. In the meantime, we want to make GPs aware of our concerns and the need for members to inform us if they become aware of an incident which may lead to a claim, even if the claim itself is handled by NHSR.”

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