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GPs at Grenfell Towers will be indemnified for no extra charge, defence body says

GPs who are supporting efforts at Grenfell Towers will not need to pay anything extra in indemnity costs, the Medical Defence Union has said.

Commissioners have said that GPs have been providing an ‘overwhelming’ response to the call from an out-of-hours provider to help in the aftermath of the Grenfell Towers housing estate fire.

Londonwide LMCs issued advice warning GPs to check with their indemnity providers to ensure they are covered in what it called a 'sad reflection of the times in which we practise'.

However, the Medical Defence Organisation has told Pulse that its GPs will be able to support efforts without having to pay any further costs in indemnity.

The London and Central West urgent care collaborative in west London put an email out to GPs last night to ’urgently’ provide medical assistance following the fire that hit the Grenfell Towers housing estate. 

The email said that ’medical assistance is required to provide support to affected patients over the next 48 hours, but most urgently this evening’.

A spokesperson for the CCG said: 'The response has been absolutely overwhelming. I have been fielding calls from GPs all night to the extent that LCW have all the GPs they need and more.’

However, GPs are still being encouraged to contact the provider to support in rescue efforts.

The Metropolitan Police has said that 17 people have been confirmed dead following the fire, but they expect that number to rise. 

Dr Katie Bramall-Stainer, medical director for North West London, Londonwide LMCs, said: 'We know that many GPs, practice staff and patients have been affected by the terrible fire at Grenfell Tower. We commend the initiative shown by practices who have been rallying around to support the community, including providing medical advice and practical support, such as gathering boxes of donations. Our thoughts are all those affected at this difficult time.'

Londonwide LMCs are advising GPs who wish to help out in the aftermath of the Grenfell tragedy to get advice from their medical defence organisation in what it describes as a ’sad reflection of the times’.

The advice states: 'Many local GPs are stepping forward to volunteer and support relief in the area. Perhaps it is a sad reflection of the times we practice in, but whether you are paid or not for your services, you should check with your medical defence organisation that you are covered under your indemnity arrangements if offering your time.’

It also provides details for GPs who wish to support the London Central and West urgent care collaborative service: ’If you are available to support LCW, who are coordinating the medical support at the rescue centres for affected patients, please can you contact LCW on with the following details:

  • Your name
  • Your mobile number
  • Hours available to support LCW.

'The rescue centre locations include:

  1. Westway Sports and Fitness Centre, 1 Crowthorne Rd, London W10 6RP
  2. Latimer Christian Centre, 116 Bramley Rd, London W10 6SU
  3. Maxilla Children’s Centre, 4 Maxilla Walk, London, W10 6NQ.'

But a statement from the MDO said: 'We are so sorry for all the people who have been affected by the fire in West London. Understandably, many GPs have stepped forward to help victims. We have seen a report that Londonwide LMCs are encouraging GPs to contact their medical defence organisation to check they have indemnity.

'We are pleased to reassure MDU members that our indemnity will extend to the extra work our members are carrying out in connection with the fire. They will be no extra cost for this.'

This story has been updated at 17:15pm on 15 June 2017, and will continue to be updated





Readers' comments (12)

  • without sounding totally heartless....

    - emergency patients need ED
    - GPs are not trained/competent to deal with the most likely forms of burns and trauma that will be affecting patients (who need hospital)
    - non-emergency GP patients can access their usual GP/OOH in the usual way
    - displaced/homeless patients will be cared for by the voluntary sector/SS
    - mentally/psychologically traumatised are best supported by their friends and family at this stage; those with PTSD will present later and require additional resources (unlikley to be offered).
    - There will be a few so traumatised that GP may be able to help right now

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  • Agree with above comment.

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  • Agree with Melanie. Our thought are with them but we would be of little help in this emergency setting.

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  • Vinci Ho

    Salute to all the colleagues providing the availability of help. Putting politics aside , it is about people helping people, no matter what.

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  • I am deeply saddened withwhat has happened. I cant believe this can happen in the developed world.

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  • Vinci Ho

    Now it is to ask the 5W1H questions.
    Nigel , you know what I am talking?

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  • It is really sad what has happened - but private companies looking at the bottom line will make cuts, and bojo's response to the request for more firefighters thats doing the rounds needs more publicity.

    One of the things that we can possibly highlight is the requirement for INDEMNITY for those who are volunteering - may help get some changes made if folk are more aware.

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  • Indemnity insurance do cover disasters and RTA. I am wondering how AE perform better in disasters than in normal day to day services.

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  • Thanks MDU- you are real gents.

    I despair at the MDUs utter lack of self awareness.As the first responder (8.04pm) has stated a GP is not best placed to "do their thang" in the acute stages of such a disaster.Ideas concerns and expectations are great (ish) but horses for courses.

    This episode demonstrates several things. The flats were inhabited by the 'surplus people' of that borough who, despite their numbers did not have the clout to have their homes insulated with material other than diprobase and old-style Chinese sofa-stuffing. This is where they differ from those who live nearby and closer to the ground but I think we all need to realise that even we first world nations, beyond the superficial appearance of competence, utterly lack the resources/logistics to address the aftermath of such events as we would like to imagine.Such delusions are absent in the third world.

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  • THI is good Samaritan act. mdu services will not be required. if they want to show generosity than give gps nearby one year free subscription.

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