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If our new nurse prescriber makes a mistake, can we GPs be sued?

One of the practice nurses at our practice has recently qualified as an independent nurse prescriber. Could the GPs (as her employers) be sued by a patient if a mistake on her part led to an accusation of negligence? I have tried to explain to them that this would be the case as they are vicariously liable for all their employees' actions as long as part of their job description/contract - even mistakes.

However, they strongly disagree with me as she is accountable in her own right as a qualified nurse (I don't disagree with them there). I think they are muddling two separate issues. She may indeed be in breach of the NMC code of conduct should she make a mistake, but I don't think this alters their position in employment law as her employers.

If they could be liable for her actions, how do they insure for this - with the MDU or other professional defence organisation? They all use different organisations. By the way, she is personally covered for her extended role with the RCN.

Andrew Lockhart-Mirams, partner at Lockharts

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