GPs warned to take out insurance for mental capacity assessments

Doctors should take out additional insurance if they carry out mental capacity assessments of patients who may need to be detained in a care home or hospital, the Medical Defence Union (MDU) has warned.

Credit: Jim Varney

New legislation, which came into effect last week, defines who is eligible to assess whether patients should be detained and whether they have the capacity to give consent.

The new regulations make clear that doctors who only have discretionary indemnity are no longer eligible to carry out such assessments.

‘These regulations clearly state that those carrying out assessments of patients must be insured and satisfy the relevant supervisory body that this is the case,’ said deputy MDU chief executive Dr Christine Tomkins.

She added that she welcomed the change as recognition that ‘only an insurance contract provides the necessary assurance for patients that they will be compensated if they are negligently harmed.’

Comment below and tell us what you think

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins


Already registered?

Sign in

Just published

Hospital entrance

NHS England issues warning over norovirus and rising winter pressures

Almost three times as many people were in hospital with norovirus last week compared...

BMA Northern Ireland GP committee chair Dr Alan Stout

Northern Ireland GPs face deepest-ever crisis as practices hand back contracts

Northern Ireland's GP leader has warned that general practice in the region is facing...

GP consulting room

GP appointments hit record high of over 34m in October

GP practices delivered a record 34.3m appointments in October this year excluding...

GP consultation

New contract that enforces continuity would make GPs and patients safer, says watchdog

A new GP contract that makes continuity of care an 'essential requirement' for practices...

GP receptionist on the phone

Some practices to receive funding to upgrade digital phone systems

GP practices whose digital phone systems do not meet new NHS England standards will...

Woman using mobile phone

Safety issues with remote GP consultations 'extremely rare', study shows

Safety incidents are 'extremely rare' in remote GP consultations but risk is higher...