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MDU denies withdrawing indemnity for GPs to do minor surgery

Medical defence organisation MDU has quashed speculation that it is will no longer offer indemnity to GPs to carry out minor surgery.

The move comes as RCGP minor surgery lead Dr Jonathan Botting received an email from the MDU, informing him that he would not be covered for minor surgery. MDU’s action provoked widespread concern that all GPs with the defence organisation might be affected.

Dr Botting told Pulse that he wanted to discover whether the action was on an individual level or whether it was part of a wider policy change.

He said: ‘I’m trying to find out, before I do anything else, whether or not this is actually an error based on misinformation or if it’s an actual move by the MDU.

‘The first thing have to do is work out how I am covered for the future for what I do. For me, community-based surgery is the biggest part of what I do. I need to sort that out and I’m expecting to hear back in the next day or two.’

The MDU, which said it could not comment on individual cases, insisted that its policy on minor surgery had not shifted.

A spokesperson said: ‘I can confirm that the MDU’s benefits of membership have not changed and we continue to provide indemnity and other medico-legal benefits for GP members who undertake minor surgery.’

The news comes just months after Dr Botting participated in a research study published in the British Journal of General Practice which found that minor skin surgery performed by GPs in primary care is safe and prompt and may be an ‘underused resource’.

RCGP chair Dr Maureen Baker pointed out that Dr Botting is a GP with a ‘special interest in minor surgery who has never made a claim or had a claim made against him in 34 years of general practice’.

The RCGP is so concerned by Dr Botting’s plight that it is asking members to report ‘any similar issues’ with defence organisations.

The two other large medical defence organisations MDDUS and MPS said that it was business as usual regarding indemnity for GPs on minor surgery.

MDDUS’ head of underwriting Chris Godeseth said that there were ‘no changes planned in MDDUS’s approach to minor surgery’.

And Dr Nick Clements, head of risk and underwriting policy at medical defence organisation MPS said: ‘It is both a legal and professional requirement for GPs to maintain adequate and appropriate indemnity or insurance when practising medicine in the UK. As a benefit of membership with MPS, GPs can request indemnity for a wide range of activities, including minor surgery.’