The GMC sets out the Good Medical Practice rules and one of them includes having insurance or indemnity where appropriate. As doctors, the last thing we want to think about is the ominous possibility of malpractice, disciplinary hearings and coroner inquests. Unfortunately, we do need to be covered in such an event.
The Trust you join will provide you with indemnity, however this applies for the work you are assigned as part of your contract. For any extra work you provide outside the duties specified in your contract, you are not covered. Also, a Trust indemnity does not cover you for complaints made for you specifically (Trust disciplinary hearings, GMC hearings, coroner inquest and any private work).
It is advisable to join the British Medical Association and take out a separate indemnity to cover your work under all circumstances. For obtaining a separate medical indemnity, which we strongly recommend, please visit the Medical Protection Society, or the Medical Defence Union or the Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland. There are probably several others out there; this is merely a list of the ones we are most familiar with.
Financially, medical indemnity is not a huge cost, especially for junior doctors who are just starting their training, as your Trust will provide you with coverage. During induction at your new post, you will be given further information on the what and how to’s. Be familiar with the different organisations in the UK that provide medical insurance and you will engage with them once you start working.