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At the heart of general practice since 1960

‘I was devastated’: One GP tells how medical defence bodies refused to indemnify him after he was reinstated by the GMC

As GP leaders warn that a series of doctors have been prevented from returning to clinical practice because they have been unable to obtain indemnity insurance, one GP speaks out.

As GP leaders warn that a series of doctors have been prevented from returning to clinical practice because they have been unable to obtain indemnity insurance, one GP speaks out.

I was erased from the GMC register for five years after a conviction for financial mismanagement.

My medical defence subscription stopped during that period as there was no guarantee I was going to return to medicine - many doctors in that position are so dispirited that they don't. But my medical defence organisation supported me to reapply to the GMC when the five years was up on the basis that the case that led to my suspension had happened when I was still a member.

With my medical defence organisation's support the GMC reinstated me unconditionally. Once I had the GMC certificate I was ready to return to practise. But my medical defence body – the same one that had defended and represented me – turned me down for indemnity. I then applied to the other medical defence bodies and received blanket rejections.

It was devastating. I felt like I'd wasted five years of my life trying to get back into the profession that I had trained for. I had no income. I'd managed to get the highest ticket back in again from the highest medical authority, the GMC, only to be thrown back out again because I couldn't get indemnity. Without insurance I couldn't work as a GP.

Eventually I did manage to get cover from one of the medical defence organsiations – at a high premium. But after what happened to me, after it taking so much to come back, it makes me wonder how many bona fide qualified doctors are out there that just can't get insurance? Even at this stage I don't have the income to cover my fees for the next year. But I have to bite the bullet and keep trying. I have worked so hard to get back in.'

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Readers' comments (2)

  • Which defence union did accept you?

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  • I have had a similar issue. I was a Locum GP with MPS. I then settled down into a salaried GP post, where they ahd group MDU asking me to join. So I applied to join MDU. MDU made it clear I was covered from day 1 during the application. Never did they say to not leave MPS or that my application was, as never crossed my mind, to be rejected - had a clean sheet (no GMC, PCT, NCAS issues at all). So I cancelled with MPS, after being informed by MDU I am covered from day 1 in my new salaried job.
    But after a few weeks MDU told me, when I called up to ask a trivial matter post-GP meeting, that they could not help me - my application was declined! They could not and would not inform me why. It was "at their discretion" was what they excuse.
    So I reapplied to MPS, explaining in the section "have you ever been declined" I ticked yes and had to reexplain all my usual GP discreet complaints we GPs get on a yearly basis - myself 3 every yeasr, each time in the same month in autumn! MPS Declined me - and would not inform me why! I was shocked. I felt as if I was in a dream I was with MPS for 2 years, having it renewed it recently. I was not with them for 5 weeks as I was with MDU, and now MPS rejected me to reinstate my membership! My medical director and practise manager seeing my "Letter of Good standing " from MPS, could not understand also. it was crazy. Here is a new GP, wanted to settle down after getting married from locuming to salaried GP post and I get kicked in the teeth from MDU and MPS.
    The Medical Director was most compassionate and supportive to have the Group Director apply for MDU. MPS told em I could not reapply for at least 12 months! 2 finger to them in their feedback email.
    MDU rejected me once again.
    I had to resign from my post.
    2 months I am now at a crossroads, what to do.
    I am now looking at Locum SHO Psychiatry. My foot in the door I am told is via private that may have medical indemnity. I called MDU who were most patronising asking me questions not coherently and talking down at me with contempt for me to just get a quote and an application form. They wanted to know FULL detail of my job and since I let slip the private firm may have indemnity in place, they wont give me a quote if they dont have their own indemnity - so stuck and secretly sly.
    They have as mafia control on us GPs more than the GMC. I have aced my appraisals and MSF feedbacks, no issues ever with GMC or PCT/CCG or NCAS. I and all my GP peers are at al loss of words why to a recently new GP the MPS and MDU are doing this. 10 years of my training to work as a GP is all down the drain. They dont even have the decency to tell me why, why why they have declined me.
    I have lost all faith in the UK Medical system totally.
    We are not doctors but beggars, shoe polishers.

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