What are the insurance implications of Primary Care Networks?

Since Primary Care Networks (PCNs) have been introduced, there has been some speculation about what insurance cover is required.

A GP surgery under a PCN has new and additional responsibilities they’re unlikely to have had before. This has implications for the following insurance risks;

  • Medical Indemnity
  • Directors & Officers liability
  • Employers and public liability

How your structure affects your insurance

Exactly what your PCN need will be somewhat dictated by the structure of your PCN; a flat practice set up, for example, might involve the sharing or standardisation of employment contracts. This could impact on the employers’ liability insurance for each individual surgery.

Employer’s liability is a legal requirement in the UK so if you have set up your PCN as a Ltd company in it is own right, you will need to have Employers Liability under the legal name of that Ltd company.

If you have a flat practice structure, we advise that you inform your insurers of your PCN activity. If you have a lead practice, you may only need to extend the liability cover on the surgery insurance for that lead practice.

As an employer, you’re effectively extending the place of work to your workforce.

Impacts made by decision makers

Whatever structure you have, your PCN will have appointed a clinical director. Clinical directors will have started to and will continue to take on a growing number of strategic decision making responsibilities as a PCN grows. You may also involve practice managers to work together with clinical directors on PCN related activity.

As these responsibilities will be relatively new to these decision makers, it is important to note the potential liability risks. With responsibility comes accountability. A management liability insurance policy offers protection in the event of a director or officer being accused of wrongdoing. This can mean a variety of things including but not limited to the following;

  • Breach of contract with a supplier
  • Breach of regulation
  • Breach of trust with a patient
  • Unfair dismissal of employees

Management liability insurance is designed to cover the legal costs of defending a claim of this nature and also providing compensation if required. If a clinical director or decision maker within the PCN was found to be liable of wrongdoing, their employer (whether that is the practice or a PCN set up as a limited company) would need to cover the legal and compensation costs themselves.

Want to know more?

As the BMA’s appointed provider of insurance services, we’re able to advise members about their insurance requirements for PCNs.

You can find out more about the services we offer or watch our webinar on the topic on our website.

Adrian BrooksWhat are the insurance implications of Primary Care Networks?