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Consultation on Guidance for professional indemnity cover and registration

The Pharmaceutical Society NI is inviting comments on draft guidance for registrants on the statutory requirement to have appropriate indemnity cover as a condition of registration. This means that in order to be registered with the Pharmaceutical Society NI, pharmacists will be expected to have appropriate indemnity arrangements in place.

This statutory requirement was introduced by the Northern Ireland Assembly in November 2013. This was necessary in order to comply with EU legislation.

The DHSSPS is currently consulting on enabling regulations to support the introduction of this statutory requirement. We have produced this guidance in preparation for this statutory requirement, which subject to legislative approval, will come into effect on 1 June 2014.

Trevor Patterson, Chief Executive said

‘We consider that most registrants will already be able to meet this statutory requirement as they will be indemnified by their employer and/or will hold separate indemnity insurance.

‘Making professional indemnity cover a condition of registration with the regulator means that individuals who suffer harm through the negligence of a registered pharmacist, can seek redress through compensation.

‘It is important that the guidance sets out clearly what is expected from a pharmacist and is understood by patients and the public, and that registrants understand their responsibilities.

‘We would therefore encourage feedback from patients and the public; registrants and potential registrants; employers, professional and representative bodies, and other stakeholders who may be affected by this new requirement.’

The consultation will run from 5 February 2014 to 2 April 2014.


 For further information please contact Mark Neale at the Pharmaceutical Society NI on 028 9026 7933 or or Grainne Magee


Notes to editors

1. The Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland is the regulatory body for pharmacists in Northern Ireland. Our primary purpose is to ensure practicing pharmacists in Northern Ireland are fit to practise, keep their skills and knowledge up to date and deliver high quality safe care to patients.

2. The consultation document and details on how to respond to the consultation is available on the Pharmaceutical Society NI website

3. The Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS) has recently brought into effect the Pharmacy (1976 Order) (Amendment) Order (Northern Ireland) 2013 which introduced the statutory requirement for practising pharmacists to have appropriate cover under an indemnity arrangement

The legislation came into operation on 7 November 2013 and was introduced in order to meet the requirements of Article 4(2) (d) of EU Directive on Patients’ Rights in Cross Border Healthcare (Directive 2011/24/EU).

Consultation on the draft amendment Order was undertaken between 7 March 2013 and 30 May 2013.

4. The DHSSPS is currently consulting on the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland (Indemnity Arrangements) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2014. This consultation is about the proposed Indemnity Arrangements Regulations which the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland intends to introduce to implement the statutory requirement for practising pharmacists to have an appropriate indemnity arrangement in place. The consultation closes on 14 March 2014.