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The importance of individual indemnity for healthcare professionals.

By: Helen Hartley | Post date: 20/12/2017 | Time to read article: 1 mins

The information within this article was correct at the time of publishing. Last updated 14/11/2018

One of the key issues from our research, was the challenge related to corporate indemnity and where clinical accountability sits – with the individual or the corporate entity?

Dr Helen Hartley, Head of Underwriting Operations, explains the importance of individual indemnity for those working in healthcare.


When things go wrong in healthcare, patients can often seek to bring a claim in clinical negligence to get redress. Sometimes their lawyers may bring a claim against an individual practitioner they believe failed to treat them appropriately. Other times they may bring the claim against the practice as a whole in which case it is important that healthcare professionals working in a general practice setting have individual indemnity where appropriate, where they are making decisions about the treatment of patients and making diagnoses and also the practice has a indemnity as a whole so that in cases where things go wrong because of back office function - for example a result showing a cancer is misfiled or not placed in front of the appropriate healthcare professional to make the right call they can have support within that claim if they have an appropriate corporate indemnity package. If someone is working in a supervised role, there can sometimes be apportionment if there is the allegation of inadequate supervision. However, usually the problem lies with the person who actually delivered the care and they would take on the responsibility for that and if they could be in that situation it is important that they are appropriately indemnified. Hence, we recommend individual indemnity for any nurses or pharmacists or paramedics who are taking on senior roles within a general practice where they are assessing or treating patients.

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Helen Hartley Medical Protection Expert

Helen Hartley

Helen Hartley is the head of underwriting operations & deputy head of underwriting policy at Medical Protection. With over 17 years’ NHS hospital medical experience prior to joining us as a medicolegal advisor and then risk consultant, she brings a vast wealth of knowledge to her current role.

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