The pressure on General Practitioners to provide exceptional healthcare to every patient is enormous. While every doctor wants to do their best all the time, sometimes patients do not feel this has been the case, and today, a GP can expect to be sued four times over a 40 year career – on average that is once every 10 years.
Claims in numbers
NHS Digital data shows that in England, the number of complaints about primary care services, which include GP and dental practices, is rising year on year. The figures show that 94,637 written complaints were made in 2017/18, which is a significant increase on 90,579 in 2016/17.
The Medical Defence Union (MDU) has found that in more than 80% of cases, doctors are found not to be negligent.
However, the toll it takes on the GP involved is huge. In some cases, claims made can exceed £10 million and even when a pay out is not made, the cost and time spent on fully investigating the claim is significant for all involved.
Campaigning for change
The MDU wants changes to government policy so that settlement costs can be reduced by allowing defendants to buy NHS and social care packages to meet patient needs. Currently NHS care cannot be taken into account when calculating pay outs. This not only puts money back into the NHS, but reduces the burden on insurance policies.
While the government plans to introduce a state backed indemnity plan for GPs in 2019 to ease the burden, it is not yet known the full details of this, or where the gaps will lie between what is covered and the actual scenarios GPs face. It also does not address the true issue – thousands of unfair negligent against GPs.
Closing the gap
While government and legal policy is debated, the obvious solution to saving a lot of time, stress and money is to invest in medical indemnity insurance.
Often GPs are finding that traditional routes of insurance, such as medical defence organisations, will not offer them professional indemnity cover. This presents a problem when working out the best way to protect yourself and your career.
At All Med Pro, we are one of the few brokers that offers this type of cover to general practitioners and our customers are grateful for the extra level of support, expertise and peace of mind that we can provide.
Peace of mind
As well as knowing that we will be there to support you in the event of a claim – whether it turns out to be legitimate or unfounded – you will have the security that contractual cover provides.
Compared to discretionary cover, contract certain policies are legally enforceable documents and far less risky than protection that may or may not pay out on each claim.
Speak to the experts
If you want to fully protect yourself and your reputation against a claim, speak to an expert at All Med Pro about a policy that is right for you.