Government to change rules so every nurse must buy PI

All nurses and midwives would be required to have clinical insurance cover before they can register to practise under latest government proposals, Nursing Times reports.

This could result in a system where they have to pay for their own insurance in the same way as doctors currently have to.

Nursing Times reports that a draft consultation document on proposals to introduce compulsory professional indemnity for nurses and midwives was due to be published last week.

It says the government postponed the launch of the document following a meeting between health secretary Alan Johnson and key stakeholders including the The Royal College of Midwifery (RCM), the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) and the health trade union Unison.

Nursing Times suggested premiums could be as much as £500 a year and could open the floodgates to claims against individual nurses.

Health secretary Patricia Hewitt said in 2006 that professional indemnity for all NHS staff was a government ‘aspiration’.

A spokesperson for the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) told Nursing Times: “We are aware that it is the long-term intention of the Department of Health to make professional indemnity insurance a requirement of registration for all healthcare professionals, including nurses and midwives.

“The NMC will not be commenting further until we have had the opportunity over the next few months to discuss any issues arising from any future consultation with the Department of Health and our stakeholders including the professional bodies and trades unions.”