Department of Health and Social Care consultation on appropriate clinical negligence cover

The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) welcomes the opportunity to respond to the consultation on appropriate clinical negligence cover.

It is the view of the RCP that current arrangements should be largely retained, but that there is the potential for improvements to the system.

Summary of RCP response

  • Fundamentally we must ensure that patients do not lose out on compensation.
  • It is also vitally important to ensure that doctors are provided sufficient protection by their insurance, as many outline limits to the cover that is offered. Protection should include incidents that may have occurred within the time of cover, but not raised until after the cover expires.
  • Arrangements should be left largely as they are. There is room to improve the current system without requiring a state-backed scheme.
  • There is concern that a state-backed scheme will lead to increased costs for doctors and provide further reason to leave the profession.
  • There could be additional oversight by a third party to mediate in instances of complaint or concern.