This consultation is about indemnity cover for healthcare professionals who purchase their own indemnity cover because they are not covered by existing or proposed state-backed schemes.
It seeks views on 2 options:
- leave arrangements as they are
- change legislation to require healthcare professionals who are not covered by any state-backed scheme to hold cover that is regulated
Currently, all healthcare professionals who wish to practise in the UK are legally required to hold appropriate clinical negligence cover for the costs of claims and damages awarded to patients arising out of negligence.
There are concerns that the current arrangements held by healthcare professionals who are not covered by state-backed schemes could prevent patients getting appropriate compensation and put healthcare professionals at risk of being personally liable for the costs of claims.
This is because these arrangements are mostly discretionary, where the providers are not contractually obliged to meet the costs of any claim and are not subject to prudential or financial conduct regulation.
The groups that are likely to be most affected by any changes to the current indemnity arrangements are:
- regulated professionals in the NHS who hold indemnity cover which is not currently regulated, such as primary care dentistry
- private practice of medical doctors and other regulated healthcare professionals
- healthcare professionals in Northern Ireland and Scotland who are not covered by any state-backed indemnity scheme, such as GPs