Non medical prescribing in Scotland: implementation guide

Implementation guidance for nurse independent prescribers and for community practitioner nurse prescribers in Scotland.

Legal and Clinical Liability

Liability of the prescriber and professional indemnity

106. Prescribers are accountable for all aspects of their prescribing decisions NMC (2006) 34 - Practice Standard 2. They should therefore only prescribe those medicines they know are effective for the patient and the condition being treated. They must be able to recognise and deal with pressures (e.g. from pharmaceutical industry, patients or colleagues) that might result in inappropriate prescribing.

107. The NMC recommends that every nurse prescriber should ensure s/he has professional indemnity, by means of a professional organisation or trade union body. Prescribers must also be aware of the level of indemnity insurance offered by their insurer to determine whether it is sufficient. See clause 9, NMC (2004) Code of Professional Conduct. 35

Liability of employer

108. Where a nurse or midwife is appropriately trained and qualified and prescribes as part of their professional duties with the consent of their employer, the employer is held vicariously liable for their actions. In addition, nurse independent prescribers are individually professionally accountable to the Nursing and Midwifery Council ( NMC) for this aspect of their practice, as for any other, and must act at all times in accordance with the NMC (2004) Code of Professional Conduct (see above).

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