RCN indemnity scheme changes in place from 1 July

Published: 01 July 2014

The changes the RCN has made to its indemnity scheme are now in effect, from 1 July, 2014. While most members are unaffected, please check the new updated scheme information here: www.rcn.org.uk/indemnity

The RCN indemnity scheme is a contractual arrangement providing members with cover for clinical negligence claims. It is not intended to replace or supplement the general cover arranged by employers for their staff, but provides members with the assurance that if an employer’s cover isn’t available you may generally fall back on the RCN.

Changes to the RCN’s scheme have been made to ensure that employers can no longer shift the costs of indemnity cover onto the RCN.

What do the changes mean for members?

From 1 July 2014, members’ work under a contract of employment will no longer be covered by our scheme. This change is to prevent employers moving the burden of risk onto their staff and the RCN, and will stop the college from inadvertently subsidising under-performing employers. The move will ensure that employers take responsibility for the environment of care, providing safe systems for its delivery.

While most self-employed members will remain covered by the RCN scheme, aesthetic practice will also be excluded from 1 July. Self-employed members are advised to check the terms of the RCN scheme regularly and to ask for advice from RCN Direct, if they are unsure their practice is covered. Good Samaritan work will continue to be covered and the £3 million cover is still available for voluntary work and education placements.

Majority of members not affected by scheme changes

The vast majority of RCN members are not affected by this change as they are already covered by their employers’ indemnity or insurance arrangements. However, if your employment status changes you will need to check the RCN indemnity scheme to make sure you are still covered.

Legal support and workplace representation will continue for all members. Last year the RCN supported more than 14,000 members in their workplace, with a further 1,200 through Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) proceedings.

For more information about the RCN Indemnity scheme and for any further questions please contact the RCN Direct team, available between 8.30am and 8.30pm, on 0345 772 6100, or 020 7647 3456 if you are calling from abroad.

Dr Peter Carter, Chief Executive & General Secretary of the RCN said: “Most members won’t notice a change at all, but this ensures that the responsibility for claims rests with those who should be paying – namely the employer – so that we can focus on protecting, representing and supporting members in other work-related and professional legal areas. This means that neither our members nor the RCN will pay the price for underperforming employers.

“The RCN will continue to represent and support all members in the workplace and at the Nursing and Midwifery Council. Voluntary and Good Samaritan work will also continue to be covered by the indemnity scheme.”