Is My GP/Doctor Insured?

Posted on: 3 mins read
Last updated:
Kate McCue

Medical Negligence Associate Solicitor

Share Article:

The way in which GPs (doctors) in the UK are insured against potential clinical or medical negligence claims changed from today 1st April 2019. GPs no longer have to pay for their own insurance cover every year; instead, it is backed by the UK government. The New Indemnity scheme for general practice was introduced but, not everything is covered by the new scheme; and whether your GP is covered for any particular issue depends on what has happened.

How Does the New Scheme Work?

In most situations, your GP will be covered for a medical negligence claim. The state-backed scheme applies to all NHS negligence claims where the treatment occurred after 1st April 2019. This will work in a similar way to how cases against NHS hospitals have been managed, which is called The NHS Resolution Team.

That said, the new scheme doesn’t insure GPs if they do private-paying clinical work or provide treatment as a ‘good Samaritan’. In these cases (and for other types of work outside of front-line treatment), GPs still need to take out separate insurance. But they don’t usually result in medical negligence claims.

From the financial years of 2010/11 to 2022/23, there were over 13 thousand clinical negligence claims reported to NHS England, and the number that reached some sort of settlement was 13,499. The NHS Resolutions team are there specifically for cases like this, and although it seems like a huge amount of medical negligence, there are 1.6 million interactions with patients within the NHS per day – making this a very busy entity, and mistakes can happen.

TrustpilotStarsWe're ratedExcellent

Was this Good News for Patients?

The short answer is ‘yes’. If we put aside some of the more technical issues (which don’t directly affect patients making medical negligence claims), then the advantages are:

  • Greater certainty. There is very little chance of insurance being withdrawn during a medical negligence claim. Whilst this is rare, it can happen because the existing insurers provide ‘discretionary’ insurance giving them the power to withdraw cover. The reasons for doing so are confidential and this usually stops a case dead in its tracks.
  • Greater consistency. Since we will now be dealing with a single insurer (NHS Resolution), we expect them to apply their existing approach to both hospital and GP negligence claims.
  • Greater synergy. In some medical negligence cases, both the GP and hospital involved may have been at fault. Under the previous schemes, Medical Negligence Solicitors had to deal with NHS Resolution and at least one of a selection of medical insurers. This should now become less of a problem and eventually stop. If so, it should help to make medical negligence cases easier to run.

New System is Limited or Still Unclear in Some Respects

  • The new system also doesn’t cover the costs of General Medical Council investigations into a GP’s fitness to practice or if they require legal advice .This could cause indirect problems with gathering evidence before a patient instructs their own Solicitors as different insurers adopt differing approaches.
  • It’s unclear what will happen where a GP blames the hospital or vice versa. Normally, the same advisors cannot act for both in these circumstances although the insurance itself will not be affected.
  • It’s currently unclear how historic cases will be dealt with. They may be adopted by the new scheme or continue under existing insurance. We hope that the position is clarified quickly.

What Should Patients Do?

The new scheme is a positive development for patients and also helps to reduce the cost of obtaining insurance for doctors. Patients can now be more confident that their GP will have comprehensive insurance cover if things go wrong with their NHS treatment.

If you’re dissatisfied with your NHS treatment, the first step is to talk to your GP (doctor). They will have an internal complaints process (under the NHS’s Duty of Candour). If you’re unhappy with the way in which the investigation has been conducted, you can ask the Parliamentary and Health Services Ombudsman to investigate that.

In some cases, it is appropriate to make a claim for compensation to help you live with the effects of negligent clinical or medical treatment.

Contact Us

GP negligence can often have serious consequences, particularly when serious conditions such as cancer are missed or referrals don’t happen because of negligence.

Our friendly team of Medical Negligence Lawyers will talk through what’s happened and quickly tell you if you have a strong claim during our Free Claims Assessment. Call us on 0808 239 6043 to find out how we can help.


British Medical Association (BMA). (n.d.). State-backed GP Indemnity Scheme. Retrieved from

NHS Resolution. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Statista. (2023). Number of claims reported to NHS England by type. Retrieved from

UK Government. (n.d.). New indemnity scheme for general practice introduced. Retrieved from

Kate McCue

Medical Negligence Associate Solicitor

Areas of Expertise:
Medical Negligence

Kate joined the Clinical Negligence department at Simpson Millar in January 2023 after previously working at Chris Kallis Solicitors in Plymouth. Kate qualified as a solicitor in 2004 and has developed extensive experience in both Personal Injury and Medical Negligence.   

Initially Kate started working as a Defendant Solicitor for firms such as Bond Pearce LLP and DAC Beachcroft Claims Ltd. This has allowed Kate to develop a tactical advantage to her cases, using the experience of how a claim is dealt with from a Defendant’s perspective. 

Get in touch, today!

Fill in the form below to get in touch with one of our dedicated team members, or call our team today on: 0808 239 6043

This data will only be used by Simpson Millar in accordance with our Privacy Policy for processing your query and for no other purpose