Indemnity arrangements

The PDA's indemnity arrangements during the COVID-19 crisis can be found below.

What is the position on Professional Indemnity and Legal Defence Costs insurance for PDA members working during the Covid-19 crisis? 

The PDA has acted to protect member interests through discussions with its specialist insurance brokers and underwriters so that they could make arrangements to extend the indemnity protection available to PDA members. The insurance underwriters have been able to confirm the approach to the Covid-19 crisis as described below insofar as it relates to the indemnity arrangements and Legal Defence costs cover.

Professional Indemnity – For pharmacy-related Covid-19 work

The insurance underwriters have agreed that a choice of £5m or £10million of indemnity protection is automatically provided for routine pharmacy work and for any COVID-19 related pharmacy work. They have explained that this cover has also been extended to pharmacy-related situations where pharmacists, during the COVID crisis have decided to put the interests and the care of patients first. Having undertaken a professional decision-making process, they may be involved in pharmacy-related activities that are beyond the normal scope of their work. This may include pharmacy-related activities that are outside of the strictures of the law or the professional regulations. Examples might include supplying medicines where there is no prescription, or where additional risk is being taken by an IP through extending the scope of prescribing.

For non-pharmacy related Covid-19 work

They have clarified that Professional Indemnity for non-pharmacy related COVID-19 work is not covered by the insurance scheme provided by them for PDA members. However, work that is not covered is indemnified instead by a UK wide state-backed scheme operated by the NHS as proscribed in the Coronavirus Act 2020.

For administering Covid-19 vaccinations

They have further clarified that those pharmacists wishing to administer Covid-19 vaccinations, should consider the Covid-19 vaccination extension which provides additional individual indemnity for this specific purpose as this activity would not be covered under the standard indemnity arrangements that they have put in place for the benefit of PDA members.

Legal Defence Costs Insurance – Provided for both pharmacy-related and non-pharmacy related Covid-19 work

They have also agreed that the usual £500,000 limit of Legal Defence Costs insurance is provided whether for routine or Covid-19 related pharmacy work AS WELL AS for non-pharmacy related Covid-19 work. This includes situations where the activities are undertaken as part of a professional decision-making process which puts the patient first and which sees the pharmacist acting outside the strictures of the law or the professional regulations.

This means that pharmacists can continue to rely on the insurance scheme provided by the underwriters for PDA members for pharmacy-related compensation issues and the Covid-19 vaccination extension for vaccinations, the state-backed indemnity scheme for non-pharmacy related compensation issues and the full support of the Legal Defence Costs insurance across all areas to include representation in the event of any inquests, threatened regulatory sanctions, employer disciplinary or criminal prosecutions. The UK wide state-backed scheme operated by the NHS as proscribed in the Coronavirus Act 2020 provides compensation payments to patients in the event of a claim that is not covered by the PDA, it is not designed to protect the reputation of practitioners and does not provide Legal Defence Costs protection for these situations.

A full list of FAQs relating to the Covid-19 crisis can be found here: www.the-pda.org/coronavirus/faqs

The Pharmacists' Defence Association is a company limited by guarantee. Registered in England; Company No 4746656.

The Pharmacists' Defence Association is an appointed representative in respect of insurance mediation activities only of
The Pharmacy Insurance Agency Limited which is registered in England and Wales under company number 2591975
and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Register No 307063)

The PDA Union is recognised by the Certification Officer as an independent trade union.

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