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RCN indemnity scheme

Here you'll find information about our indemnity scheme including our most commonly asked questions. 

The RCN indemnity scheme may cover you against the financial consequences of a claim against you for clinical negligence. 

Generally, the RCN scheme could cover the following groups of members:

  • the self-employed
  • members who don’t work under a contract of employment (such as agency or bank workers)
  • volunteers, and
  • those acting in a Good Samaritan capacity.

However, it is very important that you check the terms and conditions as outlined in our comprehensive terms and conditions document

There’s no need to pay anything extra. RCN indemnity is included in your membership fee, provided you meet the eligibility criteria.

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Need confirmation of your RCN membership?

Go to MyRCN and select 'Downloads'


Need to check you're covered by the RCN indemnity scheme?

Answer a few questions to find out whether you're eligible for RCN indemnity cover.

Find out more about RCN indemnity

Here we address some common questions and misconceptions about the RCN indemnity scheme.

You can also read the full terms and conditions of the scheme here.


Are you (or will you be) working under a contract of employment?

Please read section 2 of the indemnity terms and conditions for background if you need it.

If you're not sure whether you're an employee, you should ask for a copy of your contract and seek clarification from your manager without delay. 

If you're sure, select Yes or No below:



Contracts of employment

If you work under a contract of employment, you should not need to arrange your own indemnity cover.

Your employer has vicarious liability (in other words, is responsible) for your actions and omissions at work and should provide appropriate indemnity cover for you. It is not appropriate for your employer to try to shift that responsibility, either onto you as an employee or onto the RCN as your union. This applies whether you work for the NHS or a private employer and as a result, the RCN scheme will not cover work undertaken under a contract of employment.

There is one very specific exception to this - where employed members provide paid-for travel vaccinations in a General Practice setting. See this news story for more.

If your employer is refusing to provide cover for you, please contact us on 0345 772 6100. 

 

We're still here for you

Membership of the world’s largest nursing union means so much more than indemnity cover. You can still access a wide range of other services including workplace supportlearning resourcesprofessional forums and member discounts.

In particular, you can still access:

  • advice and support following employment difficulties (such as disciplinary proceedings, contractual disputes, dismissals, discrimination)
  • advice and representation before the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)
  • resources and support with your professional development (including areas such as revalidation and support for health care assistants)
  • legal support with criminal proceedings arising in the course of employment
  • legal support if you have an accident – anywhere, at any time.

So, even if you don’t need RCN indemnity, we’re still here for you.



Are you (or will you be) in the right category of RCN membership?

There are three main categories of RCN membership:

  • Nurse (full or first year discount; for nurses and midwives)
  • Health Practitioner (full or first year discount; for health care assistants, assistant practitioners, Nursing Associates and other support workers)
  • Student (for student nurses, student midwives and nursing degree apprentices) 

Within each category, there are sub-categories.

The following sub-categories do not include RCN indemnity cover as a benefit:

  • Voluntary break
  • Retired
  • Joint educational membership (between the RCN and the RCM/UCU/EIS; please check your eligibility for indemnity cover with them).

If you’re unsure, you can check your membership at www.rcn.org.uk/myrcn.


 


Need to change your membership category?

Please call one of our Member Consultants on 0345 772 6100, choosing option 1 for membership (Monday to Friday 8.30am – 8.30pm excluding bank holidays). This call will be charged at a local rate. If you'd prefer you can email us at membership@rcn.org.uk. 

We're still here for you

Membership of the world’s largest nursing union means so much more than indemnity cover. So, if you don't want to change your membership category you can still access a wide range of other services including learning resourcesprofessional forums and member discounts.

In particular, you can still access:

So, even if you don’t qualify for RCN indemnity, we’re still here for you.


Are you (or will you be) an agency or bank worker?

Indemnity for bank or agency work

Please read our indemnity terms and conditions, particularly section 3: Working on a self-employed basis or running your own business and the sections around agency/bank work. Please note in particular the information about umbrella companies. 

 

You’ll also need to ensure you meet all of the conditions of the scheme (see section 5) and none of the exclusions apply to your work (see section 6). 

 

Finally, you need to ensure you are providing a health and social care service that is deemed acceptable under the RCN scheme. You can find out more about what this means in sections 7 and 8 of our indemnity terms and conditions. 


Requests for ‘proof of RCN indemnity’

There isn’t a specific policy number for RCN indemnity - like you would have for home or car insurance. Provided you satisfy our eligibility criteria, all you need is a letter from us confirming your RCN membership and a copy of our indemnity terms and conditions. The combination of these two documents should be sufficient.

Visit MyRCN now to view and download written confirmation of your membership.


Are you self-employed or running your own business?

Indemnity for self-employed work

Please read our indemnity terms and conditions, particularly section 3: Working on a self-employed basis or running your own business.

You’ll also need to ensure you meet all of the conditions of the scheme (see section 5) and none of the exclusions apply to your work (see section 6).

Finally, you need to ensure you are providing a health and social care service that is deemed acceptable under the RCN scheme. You can find out more about what this means in sections 7 and 8 of our indemnity terms and conditions.

Requests for ‘proof of RCN indemnity’

There isn’t a specific policy number for RCN indemnity - like you would have for home or car insurance. Provided you satisfy our eligibility criteria, all you need is a letter from us confirming your RCN membership and a copy of our indemnity terms and conditions. The combination of these two documents should be sufficient.

Visit MyRCN now to view and download written confirmation of your membership.


Are you (or will you be) undertaking voluntary work?

Indemnity for voluntary work

Please read our indemnity terms and conditions, particularly section 4: Voluntary work.

You’ll also need to ensure you meet all of the conditions of the scheme (see section 5) and none of the exclusions apply to your work (see section 6).

Finally, you need to ensure you are providing a health and social care service that is deemed acceptable under the RCN scheme. You can find out more about what this means in sections 7 and 8 of our indemnity terms and conditions

Requests for ‘proof of RCN indemnity’

There isn’t a specific policy number for RCN indemnity - like you would have for home or car insurance. Provided you satisfy our eligibility criteria, all you need is a letter from us confirming your RCN membership and a copy of our indemnity terms and conditions. The combination of these two documents should be sufficient. 

Visit MyRCN now to view and download written confirmation of your membership.



Are you undertaking a student placement?

This includes both:

  • members in the Student category of membership undertaking work placements, and
  • full members undertaking postgraduate study (through an educational institution) to gain a qualification in health care or a NMC approved Return to Practice course.

Indemnity for student placements

The RCN scheme will cover student members wishing to undertake elective placements abroad, subject to the conditions and exclusions explained in our terms and conditions document. See page 10 in particular.

Please note that the scheme will not cover you for any claim made in either the United States of America or Canada, irrespective of where the alleged negligence occurred. Also, student midwives will not be covered for providing intrapartum care (wherever in the world this takes place).

Visit your MyRCN page to download written confirmation of your membership and keep it for you records.

 

Requests for ‘proof of RCN indemnity’

There isn’t a specific policy number for RCN indemnity - like you would have for home or car insurance. Provided you satisfy our eligibility criteria, all you need is a letter from us confirming your RCN membership and a copy of our indemnity terms and conditions. The combination of these two documents should be sufficient. 

Visit MyRCN now to view and download written confirmation of your membership.


Contact us for further help

On the basis of the answers you’ve given, you’ll need a confidential discussion with one of our advisers to clarify your position. 

Call us on 0345 772 6100. We can be contacted between 8.30am to 8.30pm, 365 days a year.

 

Your questions answered

Some of our frequently asked questions about RCN indemnity.

Professional indemnity in General Practice: an update

Below you can listen to a short podcast from Roz Hooper, the RCN’s Head of Legal Services (Regulatory), talking about the recent changes to indemnity arrangements in General Practice. 


From 1 April 2019, the Clinical Negligence Scheme for General Practice (CNSGP) operated by NHS Resolution will provide indemnity cover to all staff working in NHS General Practice (GP) services in England including practice nurses, locums, self-employed workers and trainees. In Wales a similar scheme - General Medical Practice Indemnity (GMPI) - was introduced at the same time.

From 1 April, all nursing staff working in GP practices or providing GP services to NHS patients in England and Wales will automatically be included in the schemes. Nursing staff don’t need to make payments towards the scheme or register.

Some GP practices provide services that are non-NHS funded. Alternative cover will be required for the provision of these services (nb. the RCN has made special arrangements within its indemnity scheme for paid-for travel vaccinations in General Practice settings - see this news story for more).

RCN support available

The RCN has been hearing from nurse members and non-members that their GP employers have told them that they will no longer be purchasing indemnity cover from their medical defence organisations (MDOs - like the MDU and MPS). As a result, the MDO will no longer provide them with support for their other legal issues like employment advice, NMC referrals, inquests and many other potential legal issues.

All members of the RCN remain covered for this type of legal help, irrespective of whether the new state-backed indemnity scheme applies to them. Members of the RCN will also have indemnity for their self-employed practice, their voluntary and their Good Samaritan work (subject to the usual terms and conditions).

Now that the RCN indemnity scheme has been extended to cover paid-for travel vaccinations (see this news story), most members employed in General Practice settings will find that all their professional needs are met by their RCN membership.

The RCN will provide new members with those benefits, too. So even if the state-backed scheme applies to your work, we’re still here to help. Join the RCN today.


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Get help

As an RCN member, you can find answers to your questions about work - and more - in our comprehensive advice. You can also find out how to contact the advice team. 


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