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NHS Medical Indemnity - do IMGs need to get workplace insurance?

  • October 12, 2022

NHS organisations are financially responsible for the clinical negligence of their employees. All NHS Trusts/ Health Boards in England, Scotland and Wales are members of the state-backed NHS medical schemes.

The Legal and professional requirements for indemnity

We all know how hard doctors work to provide high-quality medical treatment. But occasionally, mishaps happen. It's crucial that doctors have sufficient and suitable insurance or indemnity to reimburse patients if they suffer harm due to a doctor's negligence. If you ever need it, insurance and indemnification may also give you access to personal regulatory and medico-legal help and counsel.

Indemnity schemes in different parts of the UK

In England, indemnity is provided through the Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts (CNST), which is administered by the NHS Resolution This applies even if you are a locum for an NHS or HSC body.

In Wales, indemnity is provided through the Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts and Health Board by Welsh Risk Pool Services. In Scotland, indemnity is provided by the Clinical Negligence and Other Risks Indemnity Scheme (CNORIS).

NHS National Services Scotland is the Scheme Manager, with the Central Legal Office providing legal advice and guidance to Health Boards.

In Northern Ireland, each health and social care trust provides its own indemnity, funded by the Department of Health, Social Security and Public Safety.

Thus the legal requirement that all individual doctors hold appropriate clinical negligence indemnity cover is fulfilled through their NHS Trust/Health board in the UK.

Additional personal cover

You should also consider whether you need to take out additional professional insurance or indemnity for work that is not covered by NHS or HSC body indemnity and to access additional personal regulatory and medico-legal support and advice. 

If you are treating NHS patients privately, you must check with your NHS or HSC body employer what indemnity is in place.

Locums and indemnity cover

As a locum you should check any contract or arrangement that you enter into to make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance or indemnity in place.

If you’re working as a locum for an NHS or HSC body, indemnity for the organisation will be provided by a clinical negligence scheme.

Providing medical care in emergencies outside work (Good Samaritan acts)

The law only requires you to have insurance or indemnity for medical care you provide as part of your employment or self-employment. A Good Samaritan act (helping someone in an emergency situation) falls outside of this requirement. But you should check with your medical defence organisation, or insurer, to find out whether you have or need insurance or indemnity for any possible liabilities as a result of a Good Samaritan act.

How can we help

If you’re an international doctor looking to relocate to the UK please email your CV to [email protected] and we can support you in securing an NHS post and on your journey to relocate to the UK.

Are you a member of our Facebook group? When you join IMG Advisor, you join a community of doctors all looking to relocate to the UK and join the NHS. We post a series of vlogs and blogs to the group every day. We will also be on hand to answer all of your relocation queries.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel! We have over 100 videos on everything you need to know about relocating to the UK and joining the NHS!

Listen to BDI Resourcing on the go to IMG Advisor the Podcast. You can find us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and Buzzsprout. We have a number of episodes with tips and advice on relocating to the UK and the routes you can take to achieve this


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