Further to the written statement made on 18 January 2021 by the Minister for Covid Vaccine Deployment, my hon. Friend the Member for Stratford-on-Avon (Nadhim Zahawi), I am tabling this statement for the benefit of hon. and right hon. Members to bring to their attention the undertaking of a contingent liability. This relates to an extension of the designated settings indemnity support (DSIS), which offers targeted and time-limited state-backed indemnity arrangements to care homes registered, or intending to register, as “designated settings”, and which are unable to obtain sufficient insurance cover.
On 18 January 2021, the Minister for Covid Vaccine Deployment announced in a written ministerial statement, and accompanying departmental minute, provision of these temporary indemnity arrangements under the DSIS. The DSIS includes cover for clinical negligence, employer’s and public liability where a care provider seeking to become a designated setting is unable to secure sufficient commercial insurance, or where an existing provider has been operating without sufficient cover. Employer’s and public liability is covered under the new coronavirus temporary indemnity scheme; clinical negligence is covered by the clinical negligence scheme for trusts. The DSIS is supervised by DHSC and administered by NHS Resolution, and, to date, has proved to be an effective package of support to designated settings.
DSIS initially provided cover for designated settings until the end of March 2021. Following a review of DSIS, it will now be extended until 30 June 2021, in order to maintain the current level of support for these vital settings. This extension will benefit current DSIS participants, as well as any additional settings who may wish to apply for the support and who meet the criteria for inclusion. A review of DSIS will take place in early June.
I regret that in this circumstance, due to the need to ensure that there are no gaps in DSIS cover after the current 31 March end-date, the normal 14 sitting days for consideration has not been possible. A departmental minute will be laid in the House of Commons providing more detail on this contingent liability.