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All Change in Clinical Negligence for GPs

From 1 April 2019, the Clinical Negligence Scheme for General Practice comes into force.

The National Health Service (Clinical Negligence Scheme for General Practice) Regulations 2019 were laid before Parliament on 25 February 2019 and come into Force on April Fool's day.

The scheme provides occurrence-based indemnification for all GPs and other NHS workers in a GP setting in relation to diagnosis, treatment or care. In short, GPs will benefit from the same crown indemnity that hospital doctors benefit from now.

Practitioners do not have to opt in and NHSR will deal with intimated litigation in exactly the same way it does with potential secondary care claims. NHS Dentistry, Optometry and Community Dispensing are not covered.

One oddity is that, if the provider's principal activity is not the provision of primary medical services, it will not be covered in respect of any other NHS services it provides. The sort of organisation that springs to mind is a private physiotherapy clinic that carries out some NHS although the scheme does make provision for the indemnification of sub-contractors. There seems to be a tension between the indemnification of all subcontractors and the exclusion of an organisation that does not provide primary medical services as its principal activity. We'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

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