A new government-funded indemnity scheme for GP practices will, for the first time, cover practice pharmacists as well as contracted GP staff.
The Clinical Negligence Scheme for General Practice, introduced on April 1, has been welcomed by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society. Chair of the RPS in England, Sandra Gidley, said: ““The inclusion of pharmacists in the Scheme is an important step in further smoothing the path of practice pharmacists in GP surgeries.”
Cover will be provided automatically and at no charge for all GPs and their practice teams for clinical negligence incidents, relating to provision of NHS primary medical services, occurring from 1 April, 2019. The scheme will be administered by NHS Resolution to allow the government to have greater oversight of costs and claims.
The introduction of the scheme delivers an important part of the GP contract for 2019 to 2020. The extra support for GPs follows steps to make primary care central to the NHS Long Term Plan, and which could see an additional 20,000 staff working in general practice by 2024.
However, the NPA warns that the indemnity scheme does not cover non-NHS work or provide legal representation for inquests and disciplinary investigations. It says advice from NPA Insurance should be sought in circumstances where there are gaps in cover for pharmacy professionals working in GP surgeries.