Welcome to Healthcare Professional Protection, a tailor-made package of expertise and support for medical practitioners facing the ever-present risk of negligence claims from disgruntled patients.
With recent figures suggesting the number of complaints against the UK medical sector could double within four years, the threat to practitioners’ licences, livelihoods and reputations is unprecedented.
Request a call-back and find out how our unparalleled support can ensure your practice and activities are robustly protected.
We appreciate that all medicine poses risks, particularly for practitioners working in more complex specialties.
Our role is to provide you with advice, assistance, mentoring and insurance to help you manage that risk.
Our medical, insurance and financial experts will be supporting you at every stage of a potential negligence claim or disciplinary complaint.
The “key differences” between the mutual (MDO) and commercial sectors were outlined by the UK’s Department of Health & Social Care in publishing its ‘Appropriate clinical negligence cover’ consultation document in November 2018, updated in February 2019.
Cover available from the UK’s four medical defence organisations is provided as a member benefit, with each MDO able to exercise its own discretion whether – or to what extent – to assist healthcare professionals; cover purchased from a commercial operator will involve the payment of an annual insurance premium, with the terms of the policy specifying with certainty the nature and circumstances of the cover.
There is no regulatory requirement for an MDO to hold adequate reserves to meet expected future claims; any insurer operating within the UK or wider EU must comply with prudential regulatory requirements covering solvency, capital and reserves.
MDOs are not required to adhere to financial conduct regulation and are not subject to regulatory oversight by established financial regulators (the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority or Prudential Regulation Authority); all UK insurers are required to comply with regulations set out in the Financial Conduct Authority’s ‘Principles for Business’ and are required to disclose their full financial position and all relevant information to the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority.
Healthcare professionals would not be eligible for the Financial Services Compensation Scheme in the event that an MDO was unable or unwilling to assist them; all policyholders with commercial insurers would be eligible for compensation from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme if an insurer was unable or unlikely to pay claims.
Disputes with MDOs cannot be referred to the Financial Ombudsman Service; disputes with an authorised insurance firm that is still trading can be referred to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
The Department of Health & Social Care’s consultation paper noted a limited number of cases in which an MDO had exercised its discretion not to support a member.
The full consultation paper is available via The Department of Health & Social Care’s website.
An excess or deductible indicates an agreed, fixed amount that would have to be paid by the policyholder in the event of a claim being made on an insurance policy. (The exact figure is set out clearly at the time a policy is taken out.)
If, for example, a policy included an excess of £2,000, payouts would not be made for any claim worth less than this figure, or this figure would be withheld from any payout above £2,000.
Excesses are used because of the disproportionately high administrative costs associated with settling frequent, smaller claims. Settling an excess or deductible on a policy offers a more cost-effective way of providing cover – ie by reducing slightly any final payout figure but avoiding excessive administrative costs having to be added to the original policy price.
(One of the key objectives of Healthcare Professional Protection is to identify and manage potential risks, so that issues are resolved before a claim would need to be made against a client’s indemnity insurance policy.)