‘No plans’ to grant state compensation to community pharmacy teams |Chemist+Drugist :: C+D

The government recently launched a survey gather the opinion of healthcare professionals on regulated insurance and discretionary compensation schemes for the coverage of clinical negligence, which the General Council of Pharmacy has urged pharmacy professionals to complete.

It follows a 2020 malpractice inquiry into surgeon Ian Paterson, which urged the government to, “urgently reform the current regulation of healthcare professional compensation products”. […] and introduce a nationwide safety net to ensure that patients are not disadvantaged”.

Read more: RPS plans to offer personal professional liability insurance to its members

A DH spokesperson told C+D that the government is not currently considering changing state compensation measures to cover community pharmacy teams.

However, the findings of the investigation will help the DH to “determine how best to address the issues raised in the [Paterson] report,” they noted.

“We welcome responses from healthcare professionals, including those in community pharmacy teams, to improve our understanding of their current compensation and insurance arrangements,” the spokesperson added.

Survey to better understand the compensation market

The DH has published his answer to the Paterson Inquiry report in December, in which he pledged to “address issues related to compensation for healthcare professionals not covered by the government.

It also pledged to conduct a survey this year to better understand how healthcare professionals are compensated and insured, the spokesperson said.

The recommendations of the inquiry had focused on “improving access to compensation for patients, rather than extending the scope of state compensation”, they said.

The survey, which asks healthcare workers about their coverage, aims to improve DH’s “understanding of the compensation market and […] ensure that any future changes are in the best interests of patients and healthcare professionals,” he wrote on the survey’s homepage.

NPA: No gap in the indemnity cover market

Gareth Jones, director of corporate affairs for the National Pharmacy Association (NPA), told C+D today that the organization has discussed the Paterson investigation with the DH “to ensure that all healthcare professionals health have adequate compensation coverage”.

Read more: Pharma industry consulted on ‘risk-sharing’ compensation model for COVID bites, DH says

The NPA has informed the government that “fully regulated professional indemnity insurance products are already in place in community pharmacies”, he said.

“We don’t think there’s a gap to fill when it comes to community pharmacy coverage,” Jones said.

PDA: All pharmacists must have independent coverage

Paul Day, director of the Pharmacists’ Defense Association (PDA) – which offers its own private compensation cover for pharmacists – said he was unaware of the government investigation.

“All healthcare professionals should have their own independent coverage in place,” he added.

Examples such as the Peppermint Water Case – in which a pharmacist and a pre-registration intern were fined for issuing a prescription for peppermint water that resulted in the death of a baby – “demonstrate problems with employer coverage said Mr. Day.

Community pharmacy teams who participated in Phases 1 and 2 of the COVID-19 vaccination program were initially eligible for state-supported coverage under the Coronavirus Clinical Negligence Program (CNSC).

However, contractors must pay their indemnity coverage since phase 3 of the COVID-19 vaccination program.

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