Indemnity Arrangements for the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme


Indemnity Arrangements for the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme

December 23, 2020

Also see Indemnity arrangements for the COVID-19 vaccination programme – update

NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I), the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), and NHS Resolution have issued a joint letter to reassure healthcare professionals and others about the indemnity arrangements that are in place to cover the COVID-19 vaccination programme.

The letter applies to staff working in NHS Trust vaccination centres and in Local Vaccination Centres, including to deliver the Community Pharmacy Local Enhanced Service.

The letter confirms that COVID-19 vaccination activity undertaken in community pharmacy will be covered by the state indemnity schemes run by NHS Resolution until the end of March 2021.

The letter states: “Where vaccinations are administered by community pharmacies in line with the Community Pharmacy Local Enhanced Service agreement [LES], indemnity for clinical negligence will be provided under the Clinical Negligence Scheme for Coronavirus (CNSC)3 until 31 March 2021.

Read the joint letter

The indemnity arrangements apply to all staff who are employed or engaged by a community pharmacy to deliver the LES vaccination service. This includes any staff returning to work via the Bring Back Staff scheme, Royal Voluntary Service (RVS) volunteers coordinated centrally by NHS E&I, and locally recruited volunteers.

The arrangements will also apply in any setting used by pharmacies to deliver the programme, including in care homes or domiciliary settings.

The letter lists a number of exceptions to coverage including, for example, any non-clinical vaccination activity undertaken by staff or locally recruited volunteers in community pharmacy: this must be covered under the pharmacy contractor’s own third-party liability insurance, for example, Public Liability and Employers’ Liability, and NHSE&I and DHSC recommend community pharmacies  put in place local volunteer agreements, if relevant.

The letter also reminds healthcare professionals that they are covered by Regulation 345 of the Human Medicine Regulations which provides immunity from civil liability in respect of claims in relation to the safety or efficacy of the temporarily authorised vaccine itself.

The letter states that DHSC will agree an appropriate level of risk sharing with the community pharmacy sector for clinical negligence vaccine cover from the end of March 2021.

Read additional FAQs for community pharmacy from NHS Resolution

Commenting on the news, Gordon Hockey, PSNC Director of Operations and Support, said:

“We’re pleased to have confirmation of these NHS indemnity arrangements for community pharmacy teams who are supporting the rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations. PSNC will be working to try to ensure that similar arrangements are in place from April 2020.”


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