Training practices urged to update legal paperwork

Practices that want to take on students and registrars are to be asked to sign up to 'learning agreements'.

The contracts spell out trainers' liability and insurance requirements.

The clarification follows an incident where a West Midlands training practice became embroiled in serious and protracted legal challenges.

In a letter to all West Midlands trainers, Dr Martin Wilkinson, director of postgraduate general practice education for the West Midlands, said current agreements are 'not acceptable in today's world'.

The learning agreements place responsibility for workplace insurance against claims made by a trainee firmly onto the training practice, and not the deanery.

Practices will be expected to have insurance cover of at least £2 million in case of a claim against a practice by a GP registrar, the draft agreement says.

Practices are required by law to be fully insured for public and employer liability, Dr Wilkinson said. The arrangements must also cover vicarious liability, where a trainer is responsible for the actions of a trainee.

Practices are urged to cut risk and minimise liability by putting proper induction and supervision arrangements in place.

Dr Simon Wilkinson, secretary of Worcestershire LMC, said: 'People will now know exactly where they stand.'

The draft learning agreements are being tested in the West Midlands before being rolled out nationally.

Dr Grant Ingrams, West Midlands GPC secretary, has referred the draft agreement to the GPC.

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