Does the NHS Provide Indemnity Insurance?

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If you’re thinking of working within the NHS, one thing you might be concerned with is insurance. In recent years, there’s been an increase in the number of claims made against the NHS, so are medical professionals adequately covered?

Here, you’ll discover what type of protection healthcare professionals have when working within the NHS and who is covered.

Is Indemnity insurance provided?

The NHS does provide indemnity cover to its employees. It’s also worth noting that in the majority of cases if something does go wrong then claims are filed against the NHS and not individual healthcare professionals.

So, those who do choose to work within the NHS, don’t typically need to take out their own indemnity insurance policy. However, this doesn’t apply to everyone. There are some professionals who may not be protected by the NHS indemnity cover.

Who does it cover?

NHS indemnity covers those with a contract with the body, as well as temporary staff brought in to assist with patient care. These include medical students, locums, volunteers and those carrying out clinical trials.

The cover itself protects against medical harm caused to volunteers or patients. This could be whilst they are receiving established treatments, volunteering for a clinical trial or receiving a more unusual treatment.

Who isn’t covered?

There are some healthcare professionals who aren’t covered by NHS indemnity. These include GPs, general dental practitioners, self-employed professionals such as midwives and pharmacists. These professionals are therefore much more vulnerable to medical negligence claims. Individual indemnity cover will need to be taken out to cover potential claims. This is because the costs of a claim can easily run into the thousands, a sum many healthcare professionals don’t just have lying around.

Where can indemnity cover be found?

Healthcare professionals can find adequate indemnity cover in differing places depending upon where they work. In England, the Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts administered by NHS Resolution, provides indemnity cover to GPs and other professionals not covered directly by NHS indemnity.

In Wales, the Welsh Risk Pool Services provides the cover, while in Scotland the Clinical Negligence and Other Risks Indemnity Scheme applies. Finally, in Northern Ireland, the HSC, funded by the Department of Health provides the cover.

However, it’s still important to look at what the cover includes and whether individual indemnity insurance would also need to be taken out.

Overall, indemnity cover is provided to NHS employees in the majority of cases. However, it’s important to understand the limitations of this cover and whether you are actually applicable for the cover. If not, it’s definitely worth taking out independent indemnity insurance to ensure any potential claims made against you can be covered financially.

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