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Find out about your indemnity situation

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Find out about your indemnity situation Find out about your indemnity situation

The RCN's decision to remove personal indemnity for practice nurses from its member benefits, (covered in this issue's news focus) is no doubt based on sound financial reasoning.

Medical defence organisations have been exploiting a loophole to force the college to pick up the multi-million pound tab for certain legal proceedings.

The RCN is also right to assert that it is the responsibility of GPs to ensure indemnity cover is in place for all staff, and for all the duties that they carry out. Unfortunately, not all GPs are prepared to take this on board.

We have already heard stories of nurses being told to fork out for their own cover.

And we have heard medical protection organisations further muddying the waters by recommending that nurses working above 'basic' level 'have and maintain their own indemnity arrangements'.

We also know that hundreds of nurses did not receive a letter from the RCN to inform them of the changes, and instead found out about it through the press, internet forums, or from colleagues. In short, the whole process could have been handled far better.

Practice nurses know better than anyone that, as small employers, GPs often play by their own rules. The majority will, I hope, ensure proper cover is in place and upgrade their policies if necessary. The problem is that some will not. This could result in fewer nurses working in extended roles; more nurses paying for their own cover; or, in the worst case scenario, a nurse without cover facing a law suit.

It is your responsibility to find out about the cover your practice has in place. Regardless of your union affiliation, if you don't already know, you should find out today.

What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet your views to @IndyNurseMag

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