In the performance of all your professional duties, you should abide by the principles of good medical practice set out in Good medical practice.
What is it and why does it matter?
Medicine is a sensitive and complicated field to work in. You will be working under pressure and often having to make difficult decisions about the best course of action for patients in your care. So even if you are following the principles of Good medical practice (our core guidance on what patients and the profession believe makes a good doctor), it is likely that someone will complain about you at some point in your career.
NHS indemnity schemes only provide support for clinical negligence claims. They won't provide you with legal advice and support in disciplinary matters, or if you are referred to us to investigate your fitness to practise medicine.
Medico-legal support is the broader expert advice on all legal matters to do with medicine. You may find it helpful to have this kind of support in place if a complaint is made about you. This is because even if a complaint is unfounded, it may need to be investigated further which can be very stressful.
Who provides medico-legal support?
There are a number of organisations that can help you with medico-legal problems. Some are medical defence organisations, others are insurers.
All provide indemnity for damages and costs resulting from judicial decisions or settlements out of court and in medico-legal cases undertaken on their behalf, notably accusations of professional negligence. In addition, some also offer advice on legal, ethical and other problems arising from your practice, including the GMC investigating allegations that you have failed to follow the principles of Good medical practice. Each organisation offers a different combination of benefits so you will need to decide which, if any, is right for you.
We have included at the bottom of this factsheet, a list of all the providers that we are aware of, but others may also be available. You can get further information about the combination of benefits each offers, directly from these organisations.
Medico-legal support providers
London EC3N 1BT
Tel: 0207 488 2211
Premium Medical Protection
68 Pure Offices
Leamington Spa CV34 6WE
Tel 0845 308 2350
Lockton Companies LLP
The St Botolph Building
London EC3A 7AG
Tel: 0207 933 2206
Specialist Professional Indemnity Services Ltd
SPS administers a number of specialty-specific indemnity schemes, listed below
TeL 0845 519 4393
Association of Opthalmologists Specialist Indemnity Scheme
Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland
120 Blythswood St
Glasgow G2 4EA
Tel: 0845 270 2034
ISIS Indemnity Scheme for Orthopaedic Surgeons
Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgeons Indemnity Scheme
Medical Defence Union Limited
23 Blackfriars Road
London SE1 8PJ
Tel: 0800 716 376
Orthopaedic & Trauma Specialists Indemnity Scheme
Sports and Exercise Medicine Professional Indemnity Scheme
Medical Protection Society
33 Cavendish Square
London W1G 0PS
Tel: 0845 605 4000
Surgical Indemnity Scheme - General Surgeons
Medical Insurance Consultants Ltd
45 The Park
Yeovil, Somerset, BA20 1DF
Tel: 01935 424 085
Hertfordshire SG1 2GA
Tel: 01438 739 839
Doctors and Dentists Protection Union
9 Belgrave Avenue
Manchester, M41 8SR
Tel: 0161 870 2193