Medical defence organisations
Do I need one, and what are my options?
You are aware of their existence and will have seen their marketing materials, but your knowledge about medical defence organisations and their purpose may be somewhat hazy. Is it obligatory to join, or is it more of an optional members’ club? How much does it cost? What are the risks of not joining up? Doesn’t the NHS provide medical defence services free of charge? Here, we look into what is required in terms of indemnity insurance for medical students and junior doctors, and what else a defence organisation might have to offer.
Although personal indemnity insurance is not currently a legal obligation, the General Medical Council’s Good Medical Practice states that qualified doctors need indemnity cover. Point 63 says: “You must make sure you have adequate insurance or indemnity cover so that your patients will not be disadvantaged if they make a claim about the clinical care you have provided