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Primary care staff urged to review indemnity when it comes to travel vaccinations

Post date: 31/07/2019 | Time to read article: 2 mins

The information within this article was correct at the time of publishing. Last updated 31/07/2019

From 1 August 2019, the Clinical Negligence Scheme for General Practice (CNSGP), which is administered by NHS Resolution, will not be providing indemnity for private or non-NHS travel vaccinations and immunisations that patients have to pay for.

Previously, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and NHS Resolution stated that the indemnity provided through CNSGP would extend to all travel vaccines.

Since the launch of the CNSGP, about 70% of Medical Protection members in England and Wales have already added ‘Claims Protection’ to their membership, allowing them the right to request indemnity for clinical negligence claims arising from any fee-paying or private work. This means the remaining 30% of members who have not signed up to ‘Claims Protection’ are at risk, if they engage in fee-paying work such as the following:

  • Private travel vaccinations
  • Private prescriptions
  • Report writing
  • Passport forms
  • Insurance forms
  • HGV medicals
  • Taxi medicals
  • Cremation forms

However, travel vaccinations and immunisations which are funded by the NHS (which are free for patients) will remain covered under the state-backed indemnity scheme.

Dr Rob Hendry, Medical Director at Medical Protection said:

“General practices may receive a surge of travel-related requests from their patients this summer who want to go abroad. This may include a declaration from their GP that they are fit to fly, or they may wish to obtain chargeable travel vaccinations, or request a letter confirming their identity if they are applying for their first passport.

“There may also be requests to support patients who want to make a claim from their travel insurer. GPs would be asked to sign a form that declares them ‘unfit’ to travel, or certify that they have been ill during their time abroad, in order to claim back the cost of their pre-booked holiday and overseas medical costs respectively. All these activities are classed as non-NHS services, and therefore they are not covered by the CNSGP.

“Medical Protection has long advised doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals to have indemnity to protect them against claims arising from non-NHS work. 

“Nurses should ensure that they have adequate indemnity before administrating private travel vaccinations. GP partners also need to have additional protection, in case a clinical negligence claim which is outside the scope of CNSGP is brought against a member of staff without individual professional protection, for which partners could be vicariously liable.”

NHS Resolution has published extensive information about the scope of the CNSGP. Primary care staff should familiarise themselves with what it does and does not cover.

Medical Protection members can download a member guide and contact its Member Services at 0800 561 9000 with any questions regarding their membership.


For press enquiries, please contact the MPS press office.

About Medical Protection

Medical Protection is a trading name of The Medical Protection Society Limited (“MPS”). MPS is the world’s leading protection organisation for doctors, dentists and healthcare professionals. We protect and support the professional interests of more than 300,000 members around the world. Membership provides access to expert advice and support and can also provide, depending on the type of membership required, the right to request indemnity for any complaints or claims arising from professional practice.

Our in-house experts assist with the wide range of legal and ethical problems that arise from professional practice. This can include clinical negligence claims, complaints, medical and dental council inquiries, legal and ethical dilemmas, disciplinary procedures, inquests and fatal accident inquiries.

Our philosophy is to support safe practice in medicine and dentistry by helping to avert problems in the first place. We do this by promoting risk management through our workshops, E-learning, clinical risk assessments, publications, conferences, lectures and presentations.

MPS is not an insurance company. All the benefits of membership of MPS are discretionary as set out in the Memorandum and Articles of Association.


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