Regulating doctors, ensuring good medical practice

Medico-legal support

In the performance of all your professional duties, you should abide by the principles of good medical practice set out in Good medical practice.

Even so, you may become the subject of a complaint or an allegation of negligence during the course of your professional employment. The protection that comes from employment in the NHS will not cover all situations in which you may find yourself. For example it won’t provide you with legal advice and support if the GMC needs to investigate a serious complaint about you that calls into question your fitness to practise medicine. So you may want to consider putting in place additional support and protection.

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. But each organisation offers a different combination of benefits.

To help you decide which, if any, is right for you, please see our Medico-legal support flyer (pdf) for a list, and contact details, of all the providers we are aware of (others may also be available).