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Indemnity cover for NHS staff delivering research

Last updated on 20 Oct 2022

Making it easy to do research is a key priority for the Health Research Authority.

One of the best ways for us to do this is to remove any barriers that may exist for people wanting to do research.

We work closely with the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) and the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) to identify any barriers in the research process - and remove them where we can.

An issue we have received lots of questions about recently is indemnity arrangements for NHS staff delivering research outside of traditional NHS settings.

The statement below has been written in partnership with NHS Resolution, NIHR and DHSC to provide clarification on the existing arrangements which remain unchanged.

"Research is a core NHS activity. NHS staff (including honorary contract holders) undertaking research as part of their job role are covered by NHS Resolution indemnity schemes if working for a member of those schemes, subject to the usual scheme terms and conditions.

The Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts (CNST) and Clinical Negligence Scheme for General Practice (CNSGP) provide cover against harm to patients arising from clinical negligence in the conduct of research.

The Liabilities to Third Parties Scheme (LTPS) provides cover for Employer Liabilities in the conduct of research.

These schemes provide cover for NHS staff conducting research, whether that activity is taking place within NHS premises, patients’ homes, care homes, hospices or other spaces in which NHS researchers undertake NHS research. NHS research in England is research that has HRA and HCRW Approval."

We hope this statement provides reassurance to NHS employers and managers of NHS researchers around indemnity arrangements.

We will continue to work with our partners to streamline research conducted outside of traditional NHS settings, and further guidance is being prepared.

If you have any further questions on indemnity arrangements please contact Alastair Nicholson, Head of Co-ordination and Standardisation, by emailing alastair.nicholson@hra.nhs.uk

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