On Monday 1 April, the Minister of State for Care, Caroline Dinenage, issued a Written Ministerial Statement confirming the commencement of the State-backed Clinical Negligence Scheme for GPs, or CNSGP.
The key thing to note about the new scheme is that it covers all those working in NHS general practice in respect of clinical negligence incidents occurring from 1 April 2019 onwards. As a result, claims cover from a medical defence organisation or commercial insurer is no longer required.
However (and here’s the important bit!), the scheme will not provide assistance in relation to patient complaints, inquests, General Medical Council, Care Quality Commission, performers list or other regulatory proceedings, employment and contractual disputes, medico-legal advice, non-clinical liabilities or any private work.
Hence, although those working in NHS general practice do not need to pay for clinical negligence cover going forward, it is strongly recommended that they maintain MDO or insurance cover in respect of the many non-clinical issues that frequently arise in general practice.
The limitations of the new scheme are particularly important bearing in mind that GPs are the most likely cohort of doctors to be complained about to the General Medical Council. Between 2012 and 2016, 42% of all complaints submitted to the GMC related to GPs, although just one quarter of all doctors were on the GP Register during the same period.
The full Parliamentary statement can be read here: