To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure that clinicians are not subject to (a) legal and (b) regulatory action for work outside their usual area of expertise during the covid-19 outbreak.
This answer is the replacement for a previous holding answer.
11 March 2021
In April 2020, the Department wrote to National Health Service staff to reassure them that state indemnity for clinical negligence is in place to cover their work on the COVID-19 response. The Department has also worked with the NHS, healthcare regulatory bodies and the Ministry of Justice to ensure that complaints processes, investigations and legal claims do not place an undue burden on staff or detract from responding to the pandemic.
In March 2020, the healthcare regulatory bodies issued a joint statement recognising that professionals may need to depart from established procedures in order to care for patients and people using health and social care services. This made clear that they would take into account COVID-19 factors when assessing concerns about professionals. These principles were re-affirmed in a further joint statement issued in January 2021.