In April we reported on the introduction of the Clinical Negligence Scheme for General Practice that came into effect on the 1st April 2019. The scheme is a new state-backed indemnity scheme for general practice operated by NHS Resolution.
This scheme covers clinical negligence claims for treatment provided on the NHS but does not cover criminal investigations, a coroner’s inquest, regulatory (GMC) issues, a complaint to the ombudsman from a patient, or a clinical negligence claim arising from private or fee-paying work.
It has now been reported however that small print in the rules governing the recently introduced scheme include provision for NHS Resolution, who administers the scheme, to share information about claims against a doctor with bodies such as the GMC or NHS England.
Dr Christine Tomkins, Medical Defence Union chief executive, recently said:
“We are seriously concerned that the body assisting GPs with claims from incidents after 1 April 2019 can use information provided by them in good faith to refer GPs to bodies such as the GMC or NHS England in the public interest. Especially as GPs who don’t provide information requested by NHSR can be refused indemnity.”
A doctor could therefore find themselves under investigation by the GMC and face fitness to practise proceedings as a result of a clinical negligence claim.
As I/we have already mentioned, the Clinical Negligence Scheme for General Practice does not cover the cost of legal representation in GMC fitness to practise investigations and representation. Doctors without additional cover could, in addition to a clinical negligence claim, also face the prospect of having no legal representation in any GMC fitness to practise proceedings.
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