Clinical Negligence Scheme for Coronavirus
NHS Resolution have launched a new scheme which aims to meet liabilities resulting from the healthcare arrangements being implemented as a repose to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The scheme has been created in line with new powers under the Coronavirus Act 2020 and will issue additional indemnity coverage for clinical negligence liabilities that may arise when healthcare and other workers are working in response to the pandemic, or carrying out NHS work in order to backfill others, providing that existing schemes – CNST/CNSGP – do not cover the activity.
The scheme is designed to respond to both new and alternative ways of working, including the implementing of new contracts for the NHS to respond to the virus; those with the independent sector and organisations that are supporting testing arrangements. Trusts are not required to become members of this new scheme as cover will automatically provided under the relevant contracts or arrangements otherwise approved by both the NHS England and NHS improvement.
The Clinical Negligence Scheme for Coronavirus is set to run alongside and complement all indemnity schemes already in existed that are operated under NHS Resolution. Throughout the pandemic, all existing indemnity schemes and arrangements will continue as normal, with the intention of the new scheme being that the additional cover will create a safeguard, but not replace or duplicate those existing provisions. Clinical negligence liabilities will be covered by CNST for NHS Trusts who are operating specially implemented healthcare arrangements such as the NHS Nightingale Hospitals.
Indemnity Arrangements for NHS Staff Deployed to Work in Care Homes/Social Care
Any NHS staff who are working within care homes or any other social care setting as a result of the pandemic will be covered by the indemnity arrangements of the care provider. All care providers should provide assurance of these arrangements as part of the secondment/loan agreement.
Services delivered under the NHS in care homes / social care settings will be covered by the usual arrangements, such as under CNST/CNSGP.
Indemnity Arrangements in Place in the NHS
Arrangements have been put in place to cover clinical negligence for NHS services provided in relation to the Coronavirus pandemic through one of the following schemes:
•CNST – the Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts – if they have been engaged by an NHS trust to provide services for the NHS
•CNSGP – Clinical Negligence Scheme for General Practice – if they have been engaged by a GP practice in order to provide NHS services.
Arrangements already in place will continue to work as normal and cover clinical negligence liabilities that arise from the majority of NHS services; this will include those staff who are working in a workplace that is not their usual place of work. The Coronavirus Act 2020 ensures there are no gaps in indemnity coverage by providing further powers to provide indemnity for clinical negligence that arises from NHS activities as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, if there is no indemnity arrangement already in place. The act provides cover for those services which are directly related to the pandemic and for any backfill arrangements that may be required to ensure NHS services are sustained.
Those who work as CCG staff and who have been asked to provide infection control training to care home staff are covered by the NHS for this training. They are covered under the membership of CCG to the Liabilities to Third Parties Scheme which is ran by NHS Resolution.
Is Cover Provided for Volunteers?
If a volunteer has been asked by a NHS trust to support in the delivering of NHS services and a volunteer agreement has been put in place, then indemnity for clinical negligence will be provided for the volunteer under the Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts.
What About Retired Staff Returning to Support?
In the majority of cases, those healthcare professionals who have returned from retirement to support the NHS during the pandemic will be covered by either the CNST (for if they return to work within an NHS trust) or CNSGP scheme (if they are engaged by a GP practice to provide GP services under the NHS). However, if a rare instance should occur where these or other indemnity arrangements in existence do not apply, then the indemnity provisions under the new Coronavirus Act will apply.
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