THE Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDA) has updated its indemnity insurance for pharmacists working in primary care.
In a recent e-mail to PDA members, the company said: “In October 2016, we promised that we would reflect on the progress of the new primary care pharmacists’ indemnity scheme during its first six months of operation. We planned to use the reflection and the experience of the scheme to extract some concessions from the underwriters.”
Some of the June 2016 exclusions have now been relaxed, such as out of hours, walk-in-centre and telephone triage activity. The new 2017 standard policies now provide indemnity cover in these scenarios at no extra cost, said the company.
However, the newly extended cover is restricted to the provision of medicines related advice. Any clinical diagnosis that the pharmacist is asked to undertake during the out of hours’ service, via telephone or from a walk-in centre when no GP is available continues to be excluded.
The PDA has also extended the admission criteria, as previously some pharmacists could not comply with the two years’ clinical experience criterion for the advanced level practitioner indemnity.
The criterion remains in place, however, if the competency of a practitioner (via their Boundaries of Clinical Practice Statement) can be suitably signed off by their clinical supervisor, pharmacists with at least one year’s experience in a formal clinical setting will be considered for the advanced level practitioner scheme.
Mark Koziol, PDA Chairman told Pharmacy in Practice: “We have spent much time and considerable energy on crafting an indemnity scheme for pharmacists working in GP surgeries that not only indemnifies pharmacists in the event of an error, but more importantly, one that keeps them out of harm’s way in the first place.”
He continued: “Many pharmacists working in GP surgeries have told us that because of falsely raised expectations, some GPs are asking them to undertake tasks with which they are very uncomfortable. The PDA scheme has been designed to allow pharmacists to indemnify themselves only for the tasks that they feel confident to undertake. So, if a GP asks them to do something that they feel that they are not competent to do, they can refuse because their indemnity arrangements do not allow it.”
The e-mail also provided the following information about premiums paid by PDA members:
- The average premium for members in GP practices is £440 per annum.
- The lowest premiums are £212.
- 93% of primary care pharmacist members pay less than £900 per annum.
- PDA members have no excess payments in the event of a claim.
For more information, visit the PDA website.