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The Medical Protection Society

What does a Medical Protection Organisation (MPO) do?

What does a Medical Protection Organisation (MPO) do?

Contrary to popular belief, the main organizations are not insurance companies. We are non-profit-making mutual societies of medical practitioners, run by doctors for doctors. We are best known for providing indemnity for medical negligence claims, but this accounts for only 25% of our work. We also assist with complaints and disciplinary procedures, Medical Council hearings, inquests and criminal cases arising from members’ professional practice. To our members, we are also a valued source of independent advice and assistance in negotiating the ethical and legal dilemmas that occur in a doctor’s everyday practice.

Why should I join a protection organisation?

Why should I join a protection organisation?

All doctors need professional indemnity to protect them against the financial consequences of negligence. If you are employed by the Government you will be protected by Government indemnity. However, as you can see from the table below, there are many other areas in which doctors need medico-legal advice and assistance that lie outside the provisions of Government indemnity.

How should I choose a protection organisation?

How should I choose a protection organisation?

When you join an MPO, the likelihood is that you are entering a partnership that will endure throughout your career as a doctor and even into retirement. Naturally, we would like you to chose the MPS, but we recommend that you take the time to consider the following when selection an MPO.

Does it provide a high quality of service?

Does it provide a high quality of service?

This can be difficult to judge at an early stage in your career. Many take advantage of the low subscription rates and incentives offered by each organisation for PRHOs and join more than one organisation. Ask your more senior colleagues for their recommendations or try to make use of the services so that you can judge the quality for yourself.

Establish the funding position of the MPO

Establish the funding position of the MPO

The prime purpose of an MPO is to provide its members with professional protection. To fulfill this role and give its members the security they need, an MPO must be adequately funded. To meet this obligation, the MPOs set aside funds to meet the future cost of claims against their members. However, the size of the defense fund alone should NOT be taken as an indication of an MPO’s financial stability – it is the size in relation to liabilities that is important. To protect its members fully an MPO must have sufficient funds to cover the expected cost of all known liabilities (the value of ongoing claims) as well those that are in the making (from adverse incidents that have already occurred but have yet to be reported). Our actuaries estimate that those claims incurred but not reported (IBNR) represent liabilities, at minimum, equal to our know liabilities. At the MPS, we have achieved our financial objective of having adequate funds to cover both known and IBNR liabilities. We believe we are the best funded MPO in the UK

Who will handle my request for help?

Who will handle my request for help?

MPOs employ a variety of doctors, solicitors and other healthcare professionals as ‘case handlers’ and advisers. At the MPS we firmly believe that you need to be able to discuss medico-legal matters with a fellow professional. If you contact one of our medico-legal advisers with a problem, you will receive expert guidance and support from a fellow doctor who understands the challenges you face. Our medico-legal advisers are experienced doctors with special legal expertise. They not only provide advice on everyday ethical and medico legal quandaries, but will also assist you with more weighty matters such as preparing for a court case or disciplinary hearing. They are supported in this by our in-house solicitors and law firms, internationally, with special expertise in medical law.

Are the subscription rates set fairly?

Are the subscription rates set fairly?

Subscription rates are based on our experience of the number and value of claims each year. MPS set subscriptions with the help of independent consulting actuaries who base their calculations on past experience and anticipated trends. All the mutual MPOs are non-profit-making with no shareholders to satisfy. Compared to the mutual societies’ subscriptions, the premiums for insurance companies can seem attractive, but the products offered by commercial insurers are very different to those offered by MPOs so you should check exactly what you get. Also, with each year of practice you represent a greater risk to an insurer, so their premiums are likely to rise steeply after the first year or two.

Does the MPO contribute to the medical profession as a whole?

Does the MPO contribute to the medical profession as a whole?

At the MPS we believe that prevention is better than cure. As doctors, we wish to spare patients avoidable harm and as an MPO we wish to reduce the cost of litigation. Having provided medical protection services for over a hundred years, we have accumulated a wealth of international date and experience. This provides the foundation for our risk management services and helps us identify problem areas that should be addressed by policy changes. We are active on advisory bodies and make representations to the government and regulating bodies on medico-legal matters.

What happens if a claim arises from as adverse incident and I am a member of more than one organisation?

What happens if a claim arises from as adverse incident and I am a member of more than one organisation?

The organizations involved would consult with a view to an equitable sharing of the expenses, costs and damages. All the main MPOs are used to working together in this way because cases very offer involve more than one doctor, each of whom may belong to a different MPO

Will my subscription increase in future if I request help?

Will my subscription increase in future if I request help?

No. We do not load individual subscriptions for using the service, nor is there a no claims discount to lose. In fact we firmly believe that it is a mark of good medical practice to ask for advice if you are unsure what course of action to take. We therefore encourage you to call us when faced with a medico-legal problem, no matter haw apparently trivial.

Will my hospital or consultant find out if I request help?

Will my hospital or consultant find out if I request help?

No. Your contact with us is completely confidential no matte how many times you call us. We are here to safeguard your professional interests.

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