Existing Liabilities Scheme for General Practice
The Existing Liabilities Scheme for General Practice (ELSGP) is a new state indemnity scheme for general practice in England, which was established on 6th April this year (2020). The new scheme has been implemented to cover historical liabilities of general practice staff and will complement the already existing Clinical Negligence Scheme for General Practice (CNSGP), launched on 1st April 2019.
Under the new scheme, indemnity cover is provided for clinical negligence claims brought against the NHS for current and former GP members of medical defence organisations (MDOs), for liabilities which incurred before 1st April 2019. The scheme is administered by NHS Resolution on behalf of the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and also takes initial responsibility for claims handling.
Initially, the ELSGP covers only historical liabilities for organisations/practices that were members of the Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland (MDDUS) at the time the incident occurred which has result in a claim being brought. Anyone who has a claim currently ongoing which is being handled by MDDUS and that is regarding an incident that took place during their membership period with MDDUS and whilst they were working to provide NHS services in general practice in England before 1st April 2019, on behalf of the Secretary of State, NHS Resolution assumes responsibility for the claims handling.
Who to Contact Regarding a Case
Anyone with a case ongoing should already possess the details of their case handler, who can discuss this with them. The indemnity team of NHS Resolution has a broad range of expertise in managing claims brought for clinical negligence within both primary and secondary care. A lawyer from the NHS Resolution’s approved panel will be appointed to the case and they will then be the first point of contact for the claimant.
However, for anyone who has a general query regarding a claim under ELSGP, there are a couple of ways to contact NHS Resolution, which are:
By email at ELSGPnotifcations@resolution.nhs.uk
Or by telephone on 0800 0306798
What is Covered by ELSGP?
From 6th April 2020 all those who are recognised as primary medical service providers for the NHS (and also in some cases those providers of NHS ancillary healthcare that is provided as part of or for general practice) along with their staff who were members of MDDUS at the time of the incident, which gives rise to historical liability, are covered under the scheme. This will also include those who provided services out of hours.
Any provider who has cover with an MDO will NOT be covered currently under the scheme, and they should therefore continue to communicate and work with their MDO. As well as primary NHS medical services, other NHS services which are provided by or for general practice will also fall under the jurisdiction of the scheme. These are referred to as ancillary services.
Will non-MDDUS Members Ever be Covered?
At present, ELSGP will not cover non-members. ELSGP will initially work to cover providers of NHS primary medical services, along with their staff members who were members of the MDDUS when the incident occurred that led to the brining of an historical liability claim.
Commercial terms have been agreed between the Department of Health and Social Care and the Medical Protection Society (MPS) to cover clinical negligence claims against the NHS brought against their GP members in respect of any liability which arose before 1st April 2019. Under these set terms, the ELSGP applies to general practice members of the MPS from 1st April 2021; at present, all members of MPS should continue to communicate with the MPS as usual.
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