How can doctors and other medical staff protect themselves against medical malpractice claims?

Medical malpractice

As healers, doctors and other medical staff might expect to be applauded for their efforts to save patients lives and other improve their quality of living. But sometimes, for right or wrong, this is far from the case, and the doctor or paramedic might find themselves having to defend a claim of medical malpractice. Payouts for such claims can range from thousands of pounds to millions, so it’s essential that medical staff protect themselves against the financial repercussions of such eventualities.

Claims for medical malpractice and negligence

Over the past couple of decades there has been a dramatic rise in the number of claims for medical negligence brought against doctors and medical staff. These range from claims for birth injuries to instances of patients becoming infected while in hospital, or being given the wrong medication. While there have been some cases of dubious merit, often such claims are entirely reasonable, as patients have a right to expect that medical care will make them better, not worse.

But if doctors were to bear the brunt of these financial payouts to compensate patients, it would become very difficult for them to do their job effectively. Sometimes it is of course necessary to take a calculated risk to save a patient’s life, and the threat of being directly responsible for a substantial payout  should something go wrong could make doctors overly cautious to the detriment of patient care. Doctors’ insurance helps to ensure that they can make these difficult decisions, that patients get the treatment they require, and that they can get the compensation they deserve should something go wrong.

Medical malpractice insurance

Medical malpractice insurance will cover the costs of any claim made against you, from legal fees to the compensation payout itself. If you’re working for an NHS hospital or clinic or a private healthcare firm you will usually be covered by your employer’s insurance policy (though only while at work).

If you are operating a private GP surgery, hospital or other healthcare establishment then it is essential that you acquire a robust medical indemnity insurance policy. Such insurance should protect your medical employees from medical negligence claims, as well protecting against claims brought against the company as a whole.

Protecting yourself against malpractice claims outside of the workplace

As an experience and trained medical professional, there may inevitably be times when you are called upon to use your skills and expertise outside of the work normal work environment. For example, a member of the public may suffer a cardiac event or a fit in a restaurant or other venue. Because your employer’s insurance will only cover you within the workplace during your actual working hours, by assisting in such a manner you could in fact be putting yourself at risk of being sued should anything go wrong.

Medical malpractice insurance which covers you for these so called ‘good Samaritan’ acts will protect you from these risks, and give you the confidence to act decisively should you be called upon by chance in your down time.

At Park Insurance we provide robust medical malpractice insurance policies which will provide you with all the protection you need. Recently we acquired the Medical Indemnity Register, which has for the past thirty years been a trusted provider of medical malpractice insurance for medical professionals of all kinds. Our team can advise you on the level of cover that is best suited to your situation, and will find you the most competitive insurance packages.

Get in touch with Park Insurance today to find out more about our medical malpractice insurance.