Government Launches State-backed Clinical Negligence Scheme for General Practice (CNSGP)

As many GP’s will be aware the “state-backed” or “crown” indemnity scheme came into effect from the 1st April 2019 providing some indemnity for GP’s working in the NHS.

What is CNSGP and what does it cover?

The scheme has been introduced by government in order to offer some protection for GP’s in relation to claims of medical negligence which often are complained about many years after the treatment or incident. Many GP’s will have insurance known as ‘occurrence based cover’ which generally will cover incidents which occur during the period of cover or indemnity. But many GP’s only have ‘claims paid’ or ‘claims made’ cover which indemnifies incidents made or reported during a specified period.

What is covered by CNSGP and does it mean that indemnity will be provided by the government?

The answer is yes and no, although the scheme will bring GP’s in line with their hospital colleagues and covers clinical negligence claims for treatment provided on the NHS but it does not cover everything and it is important that GP’s know what they are and, more importantly what they are not covered for.

What isn’t covered by CNSGP?

The scheme will not cover criminal investigations, a coroner’s inquest, regulatory (GMC) issues, a complaint to the ombudsman from a patient, or a clinical negligence claim arising from private or fee-paying work.

In order for you or your practice to be covered for these additional areas, you will need separate indemnity insurance.

It may also be the case that even if you decide to take the additional indemnity insurance to cover the additional areas not covered by Crown indemnity, your indemnity provider then exercises its discretion and refuses to assist you in certain circumstances. One example of this that we see regularly is where a complaint of dishonesty is made to the GMC about you and you are accused of dishonesty. In these circumstances, Crown indemnity will not cover the costs of defending the allegations and, if you have taken additional indemnity cover, your indemnity provider may decide not to cover you either.

Where can I get further information on CNSGP?

The NHS Resolution website, provides more detail on CNSGP and what it covers or if you need immediate advice you should speak with your insurer or a specialist solicitor.

How can we help?

At Burton Copeland we have a team of experienced and specialist lawyers who can assist you with criminal investigations, Inquests , complaints made to the Ombudsman by patients and GMC investigations and MPTS Fitness to Practise Panel hearings.

If you need reliable expertise please contact us