Published 12 August 2019
NHS Resolution is operating a new state-backed indemnity scheme for general practice in England, called the Clinical Negligence Scheme for General Practice (CNSGP).
The CNSGP provides GPs and others working in general practice similar cover to that provided to all NHS hospital doctors under the clinical negligence scheme for trusts (CNST).
All staff members working in general practice are automatically covered for clinical negligence claims in relation to NHS services, as of 1 April 2019.
No payments are required to benefit from the indemnity provided under the scheme, and there are no formal membership or other registration requirements, either for individuals or practices/other providers.
The indemnity provided continues to apply where a GP or other person is no longer practising or working in general practice at the time a claim is made – which may be many months, or even years, after the alleged clinically negligent act or omission.
All GPs, be they partners, locum or salaried, healthcare professionals such as pharmacists, nurses and physiotherapists, and all other GP practice employees (including management, reception and admin staff).
Locum GPs working through a limited company are also covered. GP trainees are covered for clinical negligence claims through CNSGP with additional professional cover provided by Health Education England.
The liabilities covered are those:
Cover is discretionary, as with medical defence organisations. NHS Resolution has advised cover is unlikely to apply if:
There is some confusion about which activities will be covered. If in doubt, ask yourself these questions; if the answer is ‘yes’ to each, then you are covered:
Importantly, all NHS primary care enhanced services – both local and national – are covered, such as the fitting of coils and implants, minor surgery and public health activities such as prescribing medicine in the event of a flu outbreak.
Vicarious and joint liability claims made against GP practices or other organisations are covered under the CNSGP for activities relating to primary medical services or other NHS services as outlined above. Similarly, joint liability claims against a GP practice partnership in respect of one of its partners will be covered.
You will still need separate cover from an MDO as the CNSGP only covers clinical negligence claims and only for certain activities.
Activities for which you will need MDO cover include:
NHS Resolution provides a list of activities/roles covered under the CNSGP on its website.1
Professional issues for which you need MDO cover include:
MDOs also provide 24-hour access to medicolegal advice, and a press and media helpline. If you have concerns about whether a claim falls within CNSGP or other queries about the new scheme you can email NHS Resolution at firstname.lastname@example.org
1 NHS Resolution. Am I covered under CNSGP?
Dr Preeti Shukla is a GP in Blackburn
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