New SOM medical malpractice indemnity policy for occupational health practitioners

medical malpractice indemnity policy

The Society of Occupational Medicine (SOM) is offering a new medical malpractice indemnity policy for nurses who work in occupational health and who are members of the SOM.

OH nurse indemnity cover is available from a range of organisations, but there have been concerns raised about the cost and OH relevance in OH forums such as the online email forum Jiscmail.

The SOM has worked with insurance brokers James Hallam to develop the policy which it says addresses confusion around what is appropriate, adequate and necessary for nurses who work in OH. A statement from SOM said: “Insurance rules (e.g. whether you are employed or self-employed) are over complicated and costs of cover are often prohibitive.”

The SOM has carried out market research which found many OH nurses have struggled to get the correct cover. SOM’s brief to James Hallam was to create a quality product with flexibility to adapt insurance cover to suit those with particular bespoke needs, as well as providing relatively straightforward but comprehensive cover.

The launch of the policy follows months of consultation between the broker and nurses, other OH professionals, educationalists, lawyers and the SOM. The policy will be a key offer to existing and potential future nurse members.

Nurses have been legally obliged to have indemnity cover since the Government introduced the requirement for all healthcare professionals in July 2014. The Nursing and Midwifery Code: Standards of conduct, performance and ethics for nurses and midwives was updated to make appropriate indemnity arrangements mandatory for nurses. The arrangement does not need to be held by individual nurses if they are employed, rather than self-employed, but it is their responsibility to ensure that appropriate cover is in force.

OH nurses have been able to become members of the SOM since 2012 alongside ergonomists, occupational hygienists, physiotherapists, psychologists, research scientists, occupational therapists, toxicologists and epidemiologists who hold a professional qualification. This reflects the SOM’s wish to take on a leadership role for multidisciplinary occupational and workplace health teams.

Among the benefits of the SOM/James Hallam policy are:

  • Up to £5 million limit of indemnity
  • Medical Malpractice is underwritten on a claim occurrence basis – run off insurance (where an insurance company pays claims made against a business after it closes and ceases operations) is not necessary and the policy gives perpetual insurance cover for events occurring during the period of insurance.
  • Professional Indemnity is provided on claims made with automatic run off for one year in the event of change of status and longer by negotiation.

The policy is only available to SOM members. To join the SOM go to www.som.org.uk. For more details on the policy, contact: Wai Chan, account executive, Med Mal. Telephone 0207 977 7858. Email: wai.chan@jameshallam.co.uk

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