Important update for OTSIS members, September 2020
The 5th Sept deadline has now passed, and we are now outside of our restrictive 30-day period of notice with MPIG, and finally free!
It is difficult for us to convey the full extent of the issues that we’ve had with MPIG over the last few years (without risking us incurring potential legal threats from them!). However, it took us about 3 years to even extract from them the contact details of our own members and for us to be able to contact you all directly. Even then, we still suffered significant interference regarding the contents of our communications with you all. This has the effect of undermining the whole ethos and intentions of OTSIS. The whole purpose of OTSIS is for us to have a not-for-profit organisation owned by the members (you) and governed and overseen by a clinical board of orthopaedic surgeons, with the purpose of ensuring that each of us gets the best possible medical negligence insurance with the most comprehensive cover and the best level of service, but at the lowest possible price!
Finally, we are now free to focus on developing a better organisation with improved services and with us, the members / policy holders / orthopaedic surgeons, having far greater input and control, free from undue commercial biases and pressures!
And so begins a new and better era for OTSIS! ….
We are delighted to now be able to introduce you to Simon Downing and the team from M.I.C. – Medical Insurance Consultants Ltd, OTSIS’s new Brokers. MIC are Brokers specialising in healthcare insurance, with over 30 years’ experience. The Medical Malpractice team is headed by Simon Downing, who is backed up by a large administrative team.
We know that many of our members have been disappointed with the poor admin service they have received from MPIG, including one member who had their practising privileges temporarily revoked due to a delay in them receiving their insurance documents. This is something that the Board will ensure will not happen again.
Importantly, the personalities and attitude of the team at M.I.C. are very different from what we’ve experienced with MPIG, and with M.I.C. we now have a Broker with whom we can have an open, transparent and constructive relationship of trust, so that we can now make positive progress in further developing OTSIS, as a group. Of note, M.I.C. are also the new Brokers for PRASIS – our ‘sister scheme’ for plastic surgeons – who also recently moved away from MPIG/Gallagher too, for similar reasons to us.
Crucially, M.I.C. has long-standing and close working relationships with a number of Underwriters, including our main existing Underwriter, WRB, but also including important alternative Underwriters too. Our aim is to ensure that we’re never left in the same position as most of us found ourselves in recently during the COVID lockdown, with a decimated income but with still large ongoing insurance costs and with no leverage or bargaining power and with no support from our Broker during a period of intense pressure and stress. It is a huge relief to us on the Board that we can now move forwards, working closely with M.I.C.
CLICK HERE for further information about M.I.C.
An alternative solution to the crisis!
The OTSIS Board and the team from M.I.C. have already been working hard together to come up with solutions to the problems that many of our members have faced, with respect to significantly decreased private practice income vs ongoing insurance costs.
As a result of this collaboration, M.I.C. are able to offer our members more than just one single insurer option, and they use insurers with varying ways of underwriting and accounting for income, to deliver the most suitable and appropriate outcome for individual members. The alternative options are designed to maintain high levels of coverage whilst reducing the financial burden, including very generous payment periods to allow more time to get back into private practice. The team at M.I.C. will be happy to discuss these options with you to ensure they achieve what is in your best interests.
Importantly, all OTSIS members will have the right to decide which potential Underwriter they might want to go with, be that to continue with WRB or to move across to potentially a-n-other Underwriter – and each of us will be given specific personalised advice about this by the team at M.I.C. ahead of each member’s renewal date, so that each OTSIS member can choose whatever option suits them best, personally. Already, M.I.C. are showing far greater understanding and flexibility compared to the situation that we found ourselves in with MPIG.
If you would like to learn more about any of the above, then you can contact Simon Downing at M.I.C. anytime, directly, via:
or call 0333 014 3042 (Option 2)
The new OTSIS Medicolegal Advisory Service
One of the key benefits of OTSIS membership has always been the access that we’ve all had to an independent medicolegal advisory service. Please be assured that this will still very much remain the case!
In conjunction with the team at M.I.C., we have now set up a new and dedicated medicolegal advisory service headed up by Mr Tony Yeaman and Ms Emily Borhan. Tony is a Senior Partner at Weightmans, which is one of the UK’s leading legal firms specialising in medicolegal work, and Emily is a Senior Medical Negligence Adviser with years of specialist experience, and indeed she actually worked closely with Gerard Panting in the early days, when OTSIS was first founded. Some members may well have previously spoken to Emily to report a circumstance. It’s great to welcome back a familiar face.
Tony and Emily will be available for advice and support to all OTSIS members, and they can be contacted anytime via:
Tel: 0333 014 3042 (Option 3)
They will always endeavor to answer any calls immediately, if possible, or else to return any messages left in the fastest possible timeframe.
Importantly, if you are currently involved in any kind of action or claim, and if so far you have been liaising with the medicolegal advisory team at MPIG, and if you wish to continue as you are for now, then you can, for the rest of your current period of cover. If, however, you would prefer to move across to our new advisory service now, with immediate effect (ahead of your next renewal date), then please simply complete the brief ‘Broker of Record’ letter submission via the link at the end of this letter.
CLICK HERE for further information about Tony and Emily, and OTSIS’s new medicolegal advisory service.
Our new ‘internal’ admin set-up for OTSIS
As many of you will already know by now, in order to cope with the increasing services that OTSIS will now be able to offer to its members, it has been decided to outsource our general admin. We approached the Confederation of British Surgery (CBS) to do this, who have agreed. The CBS is run by James Rose, who many of you will already know, and who himself has a long history of having worked previously within the medical negligence insurance market. James therefore has a very clear and deep understanding of who and what OTSIS is, and what our needs and requirements are.
If at any stage you wish to contact CBS to discuss any matter relating to your OTSIS membership, then please simply get in touch with them via:
Tel: 0333 014 3042 (Option 1)
Also, as already announced previously, all OTSIS members are now eligible for a special deal that we have negotiated that gives 2 years’ free membership of the CBS, which is a new Trade Union set up by surgeons, specifically for surgeons. If you would like to take advantage of this offer, then please simply let James know.
CLICK HERE for further information about the CBS
OTSIS appoints a new company accountant
To-date, our accountancy for OTSIS has all been handled by Teresa Magatti Watts, who has always done a tremendous job. However, we have taken the decision to now move to a larger firm of specialist accountants, called Ballards.
Ballards is a large firm of Chartered Accountants that has specialised in the healthcare sector for many years, with 10 partners and over 70 staff. Ballard’s support for OTSIS will be headed up by Matthew Watson, who is a Chartered Accountant and a Chartered Tax Adviser. OTSIS will be working in conjunction with Ballards to now provide our members with:
- a complimentary dedicated tax query hot-line, looking to provide clarity on such issues as allowable expenses to offset practice income, which entity to practice via i.e. company, self-employed or LLP and annual allowance issues etc,
- timely ‘white papers’ and support articles covering topical issues and commonly asked questions such as incorporation, IR35 issues, company cars and investment properties for tax efficiency, and
- information on accountancy software platforms, and tips and tricks and ways to automate time-consuming book-keeping and admin.
CLICK HERE for further information about Ballards.
OTSIS now has its own specialist lawyer
Throughout this current transition period, we have been lucky to have the valued support of Ms Nicky Collins, who is an experienced corporate and commercial lawyer specialising in the healthcare sector. Nicky is a partner at Slater Heelis LLP and she is continuing to offer us crucial advice and guidance on the myriad commercial legal issues that can potentially confront any group or business. Nicky is helping ensure that we keep OTSIS firmly and safely on the right track as we navigate through the current times, and beyond, and her support has strengthened our corporate governance arrangements enormously.
In addition, Nicky is also currently the Chair of the Board of PRASIS (our ‘sister scheme’ for plastic surgeons). PRASIS also recently parted company from MPIG/Gallagher, hence Nicky has been able to provide invaluable insight into this. In addition, working with Nicky has further strengthened our relationship with the Board of PRASIS, and OTSIS will be collaborating more closely with PRASIS in the future on combined projects to provide even better added-value for our members.
CLICK HERE for further information about Nicky Collins.
So, what should you do now?
We fully expect MPIG/Gallagher to try and persuade our members to leave OTSIS, now that we have moved to M.I.C. However, for those who want competitive premiums, but with the best possible support, with valuable added benefits, with a top-quality free independent medicolegal advisory service and, importantly, with close scrutiny and support from a board of clinicians who are your colleagues (and in exactly the same boat as you), providing oversight and safeguarding your interests…. then OTSIS is the scheme for you!
Unless you are shortly due to renew your policy, then right now there is no particular need for you to rush into doing anything – as currently you are, and you remain, a member of OTSIS.
At the time of renewal, it will be up to each of us, as individuals, to make up our own minds as to whether we wish to remain with OTSIS, take out a policy as an individual through MPIG/Gallagher, or move to some other scheme or medical defence organisation elsewhere. For those who are only interested in the cheapest possible policy with the lowest possible premiums, then maybe OTSIS is not actually for you?!
- are happy to remain a member of OTSIS;
- trust what the Board has done on members’ behalves;
- want a Broker who will seek the most appropriate and competitively priced policy for you at your next renewal and provide excellent service;
- want immediate access to OTSIS’s new specialist medicolegal advisory service
then please complete a very short and simple ‘Broker of Record’ form that will give the team at M.I.C. the authority they need to proceed on your behalf.
If, however, you are still not yet sure exactly what you might potentially want to do, but if you would like OTSIS and our extended team to explore options for you, but without formally transferring Brokers at this stage, then simply complete a ‘Letter of Authority’.
These forms can be e-mailed to you and only take literally a few seconds to complete — so if you would like a copy of either of these forms then please simply e-mail us at:
Your Board has worked extremely hard over the last several months now to ensure that OTSIS does actually deliver on what it has always promised to provide, in a completely unfettered way. This has been a tough time and a difficult process, but we can assure that you we have done and will continue to do our very best to represent you and act in your best interests at all times.
If you would like to contact your Board, then please feel free to e-mail us anytime on:
Very best wishes,
The OTSIS Board
Mr Ian McDermott
Dr Gerard Panting
Mr Gavin de Kiewiet
Mr Garth Allardyce
Mr Joel Melton
Mr Oliver Donaldson