Practices face higher indemnity fees after RCN cuts practice nurse cover

GP practices could be forced to pay higher indemnity fees after the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) cut back its cover for practice nurses.

Dr Vautrey: all practices should contact their defence organisation to check if they need additional cover.
Dr Vautrey: all practices should contact their defence organisation to check if they need additional cover.

From January 2012 the RCN will change its policy to ensure that medical defence organisations representing GPs are ‘not able to come to the RCN to try to recover costs if an RCN member is involved in a clinical negligence action taken against the practice’.

Practices will need to ensure they have indemnity arrangements in place to cover not just GPs, but other staff as well.

The move has led to fears that practices could be forced to pay more for indemnity to cover the costs defence organisations will no longer be able to claim back from the RCN.

GPC deputy chairman Dr Richard Vautrey said that all practices should contact their defence organisation to check if they need additional cover.

The RCN said it paid out annually on 40 to 50 cases involving practice nurses, at a total cost of around £5m.

Dr Vautrey said this was ‘a drop in the ocean’ compared with total indemnity payouts for practices each year.

Medical Protection Society policy director Dr Stephanie Bown added: ‘We do not anticipate that the RCN’s withdrawal of indemnity for nurses’ professional practice will have a direct impact on the cost of indemnity for GPs.’

But she added that although individual indemnity cover for GPs covered errors by staff under the concept of ‘vicarious liability’ for the actions and omissions of staff, this would not apply to staff ‘with high levels of clinical autonomy’.

‘Staff working in a clinically autonomous role must have their own indemnity in place,’ Dr Bown said. She urged practices to review their indemnity if they previously relied on RCN indemnity for nurses.

Medical defence organisations currently offer deals that extend cover to all staff if a number of GPs in a practice have individual indemnity with the same organisation.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

RCGP urges GPs to collaborate with pharmacies on flu jabs this year

RCGP urges GPs to collaborate with pharmacies on flu jabs this year

The RCGP and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society have called on GP practices and community...

GP appointments rising fast as COVID-19 cases 'near 10,000 a day'

GP appointments rising fast as COVID-19 cases 'near 10,000 a day'

GP appointments have risen rapidly in recent weeks as schools returned, according...

COVID-19 impact on medical schools risks 'serious damage' to future NHS workforce

COVID-19 impact on medical schools risks 'serious damage' to future NHS workforce

Medical training and the future NHS workforce could be seriously damaged by the financial...

GPonline's news editor wins medical journalism award

GPonline's news editor wins medical journalism award

GPonline news editor Nick Bostock has won News Story of the Year (specialist media)...

How GPs can support patients with 'long COVID'

How GPs can support patients with 'long COVID'

GPs must be ready to support patients with physical, psychological and social problems...

BMA demands 'rule of six' overhaul to prevent further lockdowns

BMA demands 'rule of six' overhaul to prevent further lockdowns

The government must scrap its high-risk ‘rule of six’ and introduce more stringent...