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Legal help

There when you need us

As an RCN member, you can get legal advice and representation on work-related issues. We're here to help you when you need it most.

The legal services and benefits below apply to full members, student members or nurse cadets, health care assistants and career-break members. Other members can take advantage of the free legal advice on non-work related matters only.

Get help from the RCN

If you need legal advice or representation, you should get in touch right away. Call the RCN on 0345 772 6100. You can call between 8.30am and 8.30pm, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

It is up to the RCN to decide whether and how to support you, depending on the circumstances of your case. We may ask a local RCN activist, assistant RCN officer, RCN officer, RCN legal officer or other solicitor to advise and represent you.

You can find out more about how we work in On the case: advice, support and representation from the RCN. You can also refer to the client care letter you'll receive once the RCN agrees to take on your case.

Paying legal costs

You are legally responsible for your legal costs, but the RCN may pay them for you if you meet our conditions of representation.

If you choose not to use the RCN's legal services, and opt to instruct a solicitor privately, the RCN won't be responsible for your costs and generally won't take over the case from another solicitor. 

Exceptions to legal cover

The RCN does not take on the following types of case:

  • libel or slander claims (but we can refer you for free initial advice)
  • small claims 
  • medical negligence cases
  • motoring offences
  • cases in which you were not a member at the time the incident happened.

Other RCN legal benefits

Indemnity scheme

We offer members up to £3 million indemnity protection to give you peace of mind if you take part in education placements, voluntary, good Samaritan or charitable nursing work. 

Personal injury

As an RCN member, you can apply for assistance with a personal injury claim on work and non-work matters by calling us on 0345 772 6100 between 8.30 and 8.30, 7 days a week.

Free legal advice on non-work matters

As an RCN member, you and your family members can get a free 30 minute legal advice session on issues that aren’t related to work by completing our online form. Please note that this form is currently on our old website.

Discretionary death benefit

If you die as a result of a work accident, the RCN may authorise legal action on behalf of your estate, cover the estate’s legal costs and/or pay up to £5,000 to a relative or other beneficiary. 

Defamation

Although the RCN will not directly support a claim for defamation, as a member you are entitled to free initial advice

telephone

Get help

As an RCN member you can visit our online advice pages for help on a range of issues or contact us for confidential advice and support.

Contact us