The primary care clinical leaders’ group sought advice about the recent court case regarding 'vicarious liability' that you may have read about in NZ Doctor.
In a very brief and inadequate summary, this case extends the potential of collective clinical responsibility beyond the obvious team members into others that you might not consider to be part of your practice.
We discussed what could be done to mitigate the consequences of this court action, specifically looking at what measures could be put in place to protect GP’s and how to raise the profile of this precedent setting case. Experts from Medical Protection Society (MPS) joined the discussion.
We were advised this case is under appeal, and at this stage there was nothing we can do other than be aware of the potential implications.
If you are part of a practice team, your risk status has not changed, you are all collectively liable for each other’s actions and will be mitigating this with regular staff meetings, policies and processes.
If you are in another practice relationship (e.g. a shared expenses practice arrangement) and have thought this protects you from this vicarious liability, you need to reconsider your position and think about getting advice and starting exploring some joint health and safety and quality assurance conversations.
We wish to remind practices of the support MPS can offer in terms of advice and products.