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Home  »   Latest News   »   CNSGP and ‘Run Off’ – PDA Launches New Scheme For GP Practice-Based Pharmacists

CNSGP and ‘Run Off’ – PDA Launches New Scheme For GP Practice-Based Pharmacists

This scheme applies exclusively to GP practice-based pharmacists in England and Wales and wraps around the Clinical Negligence Scheme for General Practice (CNSGP).

Fri 25th October 2019 The PDA

The CNSGP cover is free but very basic, covering claims for compensation in clinical negligence. It does not meet the defence requirements of individual practitioners in the wider aspects of their role. This is why the NHS recommends that GP practice-based staff should continue to be in membership of their respective Defence Associations so that they can be protected in situations where the CNSGP provides no protection.

Such as:

  • GPhC proceedings
  • Criminal investigations, related to professional practice
  • Coroner’s Inquests or Fatal Accident Inquiries • Patient complaints
  • CCG, CQC, Health Board and/or NHS investigations
  • Disputes with their employer involving investigations, disciplinaries, grievances, whistleblowing or performance management.
  • Claims for breach of confidentiality, libel, slander, public liability,
  • non-NHS work in a GP practice or any work not in or for a GP practice.

It also excludes any claims emanating from work in a GP practice undertaken prior to April 1st, 2019.


This list is not exhaustive.

The CNSGP is operated by NHS Resolution, a public body and it has a duty to act in the public interest. The NHS has made clear that in handling a claim it may report a pharmacist involved in an incident to a regulator or to those managing the NHS performers list.

The PDAs new ‘wrap around’ scheme

By contrast to NHS Resolution, the PDA is not a public interest body, it will instead always put the members interests at the forefront of its thinking and try to advise a member to act in a way which avoids unnecessary action being taken by a regulator or any other authority. If a regulator is involved, the PDA will seek to defend the pharmacist in such an eventuality, whereas the CNSGP does not. The PDA believes that pharmacists are best served by maintaining their full comprehensive GP Practice based membership as this avoids having to rely upon the CNSGP at all. However, the PDA fully recognises that many pharmacists will find the costs of the full comprehensive scheme more difficult to fund (unless they can persuade a GP practice to support their Indemnity costs). Consequently, following months of discussions with the NHS, and a panel of underwriters the PDA has taken advantage of the availability of NHS provided indemnity for the benefit of pharmacists and has launched a new CNSGP ‘wrap around’ membership category.

Its main benefits are:

  • Providing a much smaller indemnity limit of £250,000 for claims emanating for GP practice-based work, this enables the PDAs claims team to handle any new claims and (most importantly) to determine the initial defence strategy. This ensures that the pharmacists’ reputation is put at the heart of any defence effort. This would enable any more expensive indemnity claims to be handled by the NHS, once their costs exceeded £250,000.
  • Providing £500,000 of Legal Defence costs insurance to enable the PDAs legal team to handle any of the medico-legal issues that are not covered by the CNSGP, whether this is from GP Practice or non-GP Practice-based activity.
  • Providing £5 or £10million option of indemnity for any non-GP Practice-based pharmacy portfolio career activity; such as work in a care home, community pharmacy, hospital pharmacy etc.

Providing ‘Run Off’ cover

The government has created the CNSGP scheme, but it has excluded any claims that come as a result of incidents that occurred in a GP Practice prior to April 1st 2019 but which would not emerge as claims until sometime afterwards and this potentially attracts some regulatory exposure for pharmacists who are required to protect patients with an appropriate indemnity arrangement at all times. To ensure that patients can be protected from the ‘historical liabilities’ of pharmacists who worked in a GP Practice in England and Wales prior to April 1st, 2019, the NHS requires pharmacists to take out a ‘Run Off’ policy and has asked the PDA to arrange such a scheme for pharmacists.  See NHS letter to PDA.

In response, the PDA has arranged a choice of two ‘Run Off’ schemes, the focus of which has always been to keep costs to members to a minimum. Knowing how difficult it is to secure a ‘Run Off’ arrangement, one of these ‘Run Off’ schemes is also available to those pharmacists who have previously not been PDA members.

Choosing your membership level

The PDA now has three indemnity scheme options available to GP Practice-based pharmacists: Full comprehensive membership, CNSGP ‘Wrap around’ membership and CNSGP ‘Wrap around’ with ‘Run Off’ cover. The respective benefits and costs as compared to the CNSGP are described in the accompanying comparator charts.

Every level of PDA membership includes Professional Indemnity, Public Liability and Legal Defence Cost Insurance (arranged by The Pharmacy Insurance Agency) and much more besides. Costs of membership varies depending on the level selected, the level of experience and whether with or without Independent Prescribing cover with premiums starting at £249 per year.

Click on the table below for a larger version of the file.

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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