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What is the Clinical Negligence Scheme for Coronavirus?

The Government has recently passed the Coronavirus Act 2020 in a response to the challenges posed by the pandemic, especially in relation to those facing the NHS during this time of crisis.  NHS Resolution worked closely with the Department for Health and Social Care to draft a clause within the Coronavirus Act providing indemnity for clinical negligence for any coronavirus related activity not currently covered by an existing arrangement.  In order to implement this clause, NHS Resolution has launched the Clinical Negligence Scheme for Coronavirus (“CNSC”).

It is intended that the CNSC will cover new contracts put in place for healthcare arrangements to respond to coronavirus, such as organisations supporting testing arrangements or Independent Contractors making agreements with NHS England and NHS Improvement to release capacity to the NHS.  Membership is not required for this scheme and the contracts entered into will automatically provide indemnity under the scheme.

The CNSC will not replace existing indemnity provisions made under the Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts (“CNST”) and it has been confirmed that the new Nightingale Hospitals will be covered by CNST rather than CNSC.  Similarly, NHS Resolution have confirmed that those doctors and nurses returning to practice from retirement, or those joining as students will be covered by the CNST or, where applicable the Clinical Negligence Scheme for General Practice (“CNSGP”).  The CNSC will not cover returning midwives to the profession, but the Royal College of Midwives have confirmed that they will extend all of the benefits of membership including Medical Malpractice Insurance to returning retired midwives.

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