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Your nurse indemnity questions answered

Post date: 23/02/2016 | Time to read article: 4 mins

The information within this article was correct at the time of publishing. Last updated 19/03/2019

It is a legal requirement for practising nurses to have an appropriate insurance or indemnity arrangement in place to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council. Nurses will be asked to provide evidence of this as part of the revalidation process which is being introduced from April 2016.

Here we provide answers to some of the questions members have asked us about indemnity for nurses working in general practice.

Do all nurses need their own indemnity arrangements?

Nurses working in general practice who would wish to seek assistance from Medical Protection in the event of a negligence claim need to have associate membership and not rely on the indemnity arrangements of their employers (usually GP partners).

Having associate membership ensures that they have access to the required professional indemnity for any claim that arises from work undertaken in the normal course of duties. Nurses will have one of three levels of membership depending on the duties they undertake.

What level of nurse membership is required?

When nurses join Medical Protection they are classed as working at one of three levels.

Level 4

This level of membership is for nurses who carry out only standard nursing duties i.e. none of the more advanced duties described below.

Level 5

This level of membership is for nurses who undertake the following in addition to standard nursing duties.

  • Basic triage
  • Management of, and prescribing for, patients with chronic conditions
  • Coil fitting
  • It is often free as part of a Practice Xtra group scheme.

    Level 6

    This level of membership is for nurses who undertake the following in addition to level 4 and/or level 5 nursing duties:

    • Clinical assessment or management of patients with acute or undiagnosed conditions (beyond initial triage).

    There is a fee for this level of membership.

    To provide an example, a nurse who conducts an examination, diagnoses an ear infection and prescribes in the case of a patient presenting with a new pain in the ear is level 6.

    How much does nurse membership cost? 

    Membership for nurses is often arranged through Practice Xtra, our group scheme for GP practices, in which case it is usually free of charge. There are circumstances where a membership fee could apply, including:

    • when the number of nurse memberships required exceeds those available through Practice Xtra
    • when a nurse is working at a very advanced level, as this carries additional risk
    • when a nurse is also a partner in the practice, as this means they may also be responsible for the acts and omissions of the staff they employ
    • when a nurse is responsible for providing unscheduled care e.g. at an emergency care clinic, as this carries additional risk.
    • For more information about current subscription rates in these circumstances please contact Member Services on 0800 952 0441.

    What are the limits for complimentary nurse membership?

    If your practice has a Practice Xtra group scheme you are entitled to two free nurse memberships for every GP who is a Medical Protection member.

    These can be at level 4 or 5 (see above for a description of membership levels), but there are some limits to the number of level 5 nurses you can include.

    We allow one level 5 nurse for each full-time GP or equivalent who is a Medical Protection member (we class full-time equivalent as nine weekly sessions).

    We don't provide free membership for nurses working at level 6.


    You have four GPs in your practice who are Medical Protection members. They work 27 sessions between them. You also have a team of four practice nurses (level 4) plus one prescribing nurse (level 5) and one advanced nurse practitioner (level 6).

    What are the benefits of nurse membership?

    Nurses have access to professional indemnity and expert assistance in the event of a negligence claim, as well as a range of free CPD opportunities which include online learning and practice team training.

    Where membership is a free benefit of Practice Xtra it is provided on an indemnity-only basis which means it does not extend to assistance with other matters e.g. NMC hearings. We recommend our nurse members also have membership of the RCN or an appropriate union for this reason.

    Paying nurse members benefit from access to 24 hour medicolegal advice, a counselling service to support members in the event of a complaint or claim, and the right to request assistance with regulatory proceedings e.g. NMC hearings. 

    How do nurses demonstrate they have appropriate indemnity arrangements in place?

    Nurses are asked to sign a declaration when they register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council and as part of the revalidation process. If an indemnity arrangement is provided through membership of a professional body or a private insurance arrangement, they may need to record the name of the professional body or provider. They don't usually need to provide evidence e.g. an insurance or membership certificate, although the NMC can conduct checks at a later date. It is good practice to keep a record of your indemnity arrangements and the scope of your practice.

    If you need a copy of a Medical Protection membership certificate you can print this from the secure member area of this website (you will need your membership number).

    Can other healthcare staff obtain Medical Protection membership?

    The healthcare professionals listed below can apply for associate membership as part of a Practice Xtra group scheme:

    • Physiotherapists
    • Physician associates
    • Pharmacists
    • Paramedic practitioners
    • Focus care co-ordinators/primary care navigators

    Please ensure you select the correct level for the scope of duties they undertake when you apply. We don’t provide individual membership for other staff employed by the practice, including:

    • Healthcare assistants
    • Phlebotomists
    • Dispensers
    • Administrative staff

    This is because any act or omission made by these staff groups which gives rise to a complaint or claim is typically the responsibility of their employer under the principle of vicarious/extended liability, and provision for this is made within the membership arrangements we offer GP partners.

    Please see extended liability for further information.

    Extended liability »

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