Guidance on undergraduate clinical placements


Indemnity clauses

Scotland: NHS National Services Scotland – February 2021

NHS Indemnity will apply to students engaged by Health Boards in Scotland, or who are working under the supervision of NHS Health Board employees, or under the supervision of clinicians or teaching staff, holding honorary contracts with the relevant Health Board. NHS Indemnity also applies to GP Registrars and students working under the supervision of GPs whether in a GP practice run by the Health Board (in the community or a prison) or independent GP practice contracted to provide primary medical services for NHS Scotland patients. Work undertaken for Health Boards in connection with the Covid-19 pandemic, such as vaccinations, is also covered by NHS Indemnity. Where a student is working on a placement with a private healthcare provider, then the student is advised to confirm the position with the University.

England: NHS Resolution – December 2020

Where a medical student is providing care or treatment to an NHS patient in the course of a placement with an NHS Trust, the student will be covered under the NHS Trust's membership of our Clinical negligence scheme for trusts.

In regards to medical students undertaking a placement with a GP surgery, please refer to the FAQ page of our Clinical negligence scheme for general practice section of our website which confirms that students are covered under our CNSGP scheme where they are carrying our activities in connection with the delivery of primary medical services.

Unfortunately, we are unable to assist regarding non-NHS bodies delivering care or treatment, such as a charity, as our indemnity schemes are limited to care provided by the NHS. However, we can confirm that where a student is delivering NHS care 'off site' eg in the community as part of a placement with an NHS Trust or GP practice, the relevant indemnity scheme referred to above would still apply.

Northern Ireland: Department of Health Northern Ireland - October 2021

Medical students on placement in Health and Social Care Trusts in Northern Ireland will be indemnified by those Trusts where they are under the supervision of Trust employees, including clinicians; trust staff; teaching staff; or clinical academic staff holding an honorary HS contract. However, this indemnity does not extend to privately employed clinicians or independent contractors such as GPs or Independent Sector providers. This should be made clear in the agreement between the Health and Social Care Trust and the student's Educational Body.

For a clinician who is not a Health and Social Care Trust employee, the HSC Trust will allow only those whom the HSC Trust considers has suitable indemnity arrangements in place to supervise the medical students.

Supervising GPs should notify their Medical Defence Organisation (MDO) of their involvement in student placements and, in the event of a claim, GPs should seek advice and assistance from their MDO. All students are strongly recommended to have their own indemnity as whilst their supervising GP should notify their Medical Defence Organisation of their involvement in student placements this is to ensure they are appropriately covered for their supervisory role and does not extend to providing the medical student with full indemnity cover.

Wales: General Medical Practice Indemnity (GMPI) team - May 2021

The Welsh Risk Pool is able to confirm that NHS Indemnity will generally be applied to the placement activity of medical students involved in NHS Care. Indemnity is not extended when a student is supervised by a doctor undertaking private work. NHS Indemnity applies when the student is Health Body's management, supervision and control. It is essential that placement providers ensure that there is a clear agreement which outlines the activities that will be undertaken by the student and that there is an authorisation of the arrangements by the supervising doctor's employing health body. Indemnity of independent contractors is a separate process from NHS Indemnity and is known in Wales as the Scheme for General Medical Practice Indemnity. Placement providers should ensure that the independent contractor's activities are captured by the GMPI Scheme.