Community Practitioners and Health Visitors Association

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Professional Indemnity Cover

MARCH 2000

The professional department receive frequent queries regarding professional indemnity cover. The attached paper provides supplementary information supplied by our insurers.

Criteria for cover

CPHVA members should note that their professional indemnity insurance policy will automatically cover them both within and without the NHS as long as:

  • They are qualified to do the work in question and, where necessary have been assessed for competency.

  • The practitioner acknowledges their own competence in this area of work and are working within their scope of practice.

  • They adhere to their professional code of conduct.

The Trust or employing authority or other employing organisation have acknowledged that the work is part of the practitionersírole and is within their scope or professional practice.

These four criteria are paramount for members to ascertain for themselves if they are covered. With these criteria in mind some common queries are:

Counselling, Baby Massage, Reflexology and other Complementary Therapies

You are covered if you undertake these practices within your practice if your employer is aware that you are doing this and have agreed it is part of your role. You are not covered for private practice in these areas or for work you undertake on a self employed basis.

Agency work including nursing and midwifery

You are deemed to be in employment by the organisation which engages the agency. You are therefore covered. For midwifery practice you should ensure that you fulfil the rules for midwives in respect to professional updating.

Self funded students on practice placement

You should ensure that you have an honorary contract in writing with the Trust where you are undertaking the placement.

Helping in a voluntary capacity but as a nurse

Nurse prescribing Ė all practitioners who have passed the course are covered.


Members of the Community Practitionersí and Health Visitorsí Association and of the Community Psychiatric Nurses Association sections of MSF are covered by an Indemnity Insurance Policy.

This policy insures members for up to £3million in respect of claims made against them in any of the following categories of work:

Health visiting/School nursing - all duties

District nursing/Practice nursing - all duties

Community Psychiatric Nursing - all duties

Health Promotion - all duties

Student nurses and trainees - all duties

Tutors/lecturers - all duties relevant to

CPHVA/CPNA membership

This could be for example accompanying children on holidays where a nurse is required. If you are working in voluntary capacity you are covered. If you are being paid and it is not part of your regular work, you need to ensure you have a written contract for the fixed period. This would then effectively make the organisation you are working with your employer for that period.

Members should be clear that anyone who is self-employed is not covered.

The CPHVA policy insures members for up to £3million in respect of claims made against them.

Temporary work as a general

Nurse of midwife - all duties

Alternative health remedies/massage - all duties

Occupational health nursing

Project 2000 nurses

Health Visitor training to return to practice

Managers of Community Nursing Services

This cover applies to all the above categories and to certain other categories providing the following conditions are met:

  • They take place anywhere in the world except USA/Canada.

  • The person concerned is not self-employed.

  • The person concern is competent and qualified to undertake the duties.

  • The duties have been authorised by the employer if done in the course of employment.

The policy does cover duties undertaken outside the course of employment so long as the member is not carrying them out in a self-employed capacity and meets the other criteria whether or not the person is paid. These could include, for example, unpaid professional work or assisting at a road-side accident.

The Insurance cover is held with the Sun Alliance Group and provides indemnity against legal liability in respect of claims for breach of professional duty consequent upon any neglect, error or omission in providing advice, treatment or prescriptions in the course of the business.

The cover applies to members of the CPHVA and CPNA who are current members at the time of the alleged breach.