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4th June 2014

Call to check nurses are covered by professional indemnity insurance ahead of legal changes

From July 17 a change in the law is expected to make it a legal requirement for  nurses to have professional indemnity insurance before they can be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Providers are being advised to check that their insurance will cover nurses in their employ - and to make staff aware of the changes in the law if they will not be covered so that they can make their own arrangements.

Nurses should make sure they are covered, either by their employer or independently.

Nurses who work for the NHS will already have an appropriate indemnity arrangement. The NHS self insures for its employees, which means nurses are covered if a claim is made against them.

Why the law has changed on professional indemnity insurance for nurses


EU legislation on this took affect from 25 October 2013 and is now being adopted by the UK government. The legislation has now been laid in the UK Parliament and the Scottish Parliament and is expected to come into force on 17 July 2014, subject to parliamentary and Privy Council approval.


The UK government consulted on this legislation in 2013 and has now published its response to the consultation. It will make professional indemnity insurance mandatory for all healthcare professionals. This is being introduced following a requirement of EU legislation.

Nurses - advice on professional indemnity insurance from the NMC

Once the UK legislation comes into force, all nurses and midwives will be required to have in place an appropriate indemnity arrangement.

• When applying to join the NMC register or renewing registration, nurses and midwives will be required to self declare that they have in place, or will have in place, an appropriate indemnity arrangement when the practise in the UK.

• It is the professional responsibility of each nurse and midwife to ensure that they have sufficient cover in place which reflects the risks associated with their scope of practice. The cover that they have in place should be relevant to the risks involved in their practice, so that it is sufficient in the event that a claim is successfully made against them.

• The need to have in place an indemnity arrangement will also become a mandatory requirement of the NMC Code. The current guidance on professional indemnity insurance can be found in the Code.

• It is vitally important to understand that by signing the self declaration nurses and midwives have specifically declared that whenever they practise they will ensure that an approriate indemnity arrangement is in place.

• If it is discovered that a nurse or midwife is practising without an appropriate indemnity arrangement in place, they will be removed from the register. Removal from the register means that they will no longer be able to practise as a nurse or midwife.

• We strongly suggest that nurses and midwives ensure that they have in place an appropriate indemnity arrangement that covers all of their practice now and not wait until the legislation comes into force.

Find out more about nurses' professional indemnity insurance on the Nursing and Midwifery Council website



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