Linda Millband of Thompsons Solicitors states cautious optimism on new scheme for GP negligence
On 1 April, a state-backed indemnity scheme for general practitioners (GPs) will take effect.
The scheme will mean that GPs working in the National Health Service (NHS) in England will have cover for future clinical negligence liabilities.
The scheme will not include historic liability, and the scheme does not cover a GP who has been clinically negligent in non-NHS work.
Linda Millband, lead lawyer for clinical negligence at Thompsons Solicitors, commented: “We welcome the arrival of this new scheme in principle.
“If this scheme leads to fairer treatment of those injured by negligent GPs and means they have less of a battle with insurers, who always seek to defend these sorts of claims, even when they seem blindingly obvious, then this has to be welcomed.
“However, there are significant aspects of this scheme that remain unclear. The news that the new scheme does not cover historic liability will be a huge disappointment to current clients with an ongoing claim against a GP.
"The bottom line for us and our clients, is that where a medical professional has been negligent, someone needs to accept liability and pick up the bill. Seeing our clients being dealt with differently depending upon where they are treated makes no sense in a modern health service."
“The fact that the new scheme will not cover potential negligence of GPs where they have been working outside the NHS only goes to highlight the concerns we have expressed as part of our Patients before Profits campaign. Private providers are not being held to the same standard as those within the NHS. To those for whom we act, it is incredibly difficult to explain why a GP who has cover for negligence in their NHS practice would not have the same cover for negligence arising from work in the private sector. As we have seen in the case of Ian Paterson, the private health sector offered plenty of opportunity for negligence and rogue behaviour, and until there is systemic reform that will remain the case, whether the individual is a consultant or a GP.
“The bottom line for us and our clients, is that where a medical professional has been negligent, someone needs to accept liability and pick up the bill. Seeing our clients being dealt with differently depending upon where they are treated makes no sense in a modern health service.”
Concerned about negligent medical treatment or diagnoses? Talk to us for advice and support today.
Our discreet and compassionate medical negligence solicitors are experienced in the full range of medical injury claims and will work with you to establish whether you have a medical negligence compensation claim.
If you, or a loved one, think you have suffered medical negligence, such as a birth injury (for example, a cerebral palsy diagnosis following a difficult birth), misdiagnosis (such as cancer misdiagnosis), or suffered negligence during an operation contact us for advice.
If the incident happened more than three years ago, you will usually not be able to make a claim for compensation. However, exceptions do apply – such as instances where you could not have reasonably known your symptoms were caused by clinical negligence, or cases involves adults who lack legal capacity or children – so contact us for advice.
For further information, visit our How to Make A Compensation Claim page.