Intended for healthcare professionals

Feature Medical Indemnity

Private insurance clubs for surgeons

BMJ 2017; 359 doi: (Published 22 November 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;359:j5324
  1. Anne Gulland, freelance journalist, London, UK

Exasperated by indemnity premiums, consultants are setting up closed groups that vet members for safety

Bob Sharp got so fed up with the premiums he was paying to medical defence unions for his private work that he decided to take matters into his own hands. The consultant foot and ankle surgeon, who works at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, pounded the streets of the City of London for two years looking for an insurance broker prepared to take on him and a group of surgical colleagues.

“My premiums were going up and up—I couldn’t make a living out of private work as my premiums were exceeding my income,” he says.

Eventually he met Paragon Brokers and it set up a closed syndicate of 100 surgeons. “The underwriters agreed to take us on as an experiment … After a few years the brokers decided to open it up to more surgeons,” Sharp says.

Paragon now offers insurance to a range of surgeons, …

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