Dentists must protect patients and themselves

PRESS RELEASE

For immediate release: Monday, 3 September 2012

Dentists are reminded to ensure they are appropriately and adequately covered to protect patients and themselves.

UK-wide dental defence organisation MDDUS is issuing the reminder in light of the new General Dental Council (GDC) fact sheet which provides patients with information to help them understand their dentist’s professional responsibility with regards to their indemnity.

The fact sheet also encourages patients to ask their dentist if they are properly indemnified for the treatment they are carrying out and what to do if something goes wrong.

MDDUS Head of Dental Division Aubrey Craig welcomes patients being given more information about what to expect from their dentist and believes it is further evidence that dentists should be suitably protected and prepared.

“Dentists should ensure they are fully compliant so they can meet their patients’ expectations and needs as well as looking after themselves,” says Craig.

“All dentists should have access to indemnity through their dental defence organisation so they are protected in the event of a claim of clinical negligence. As well as educating patients on the importance of their dentist having indemnity, the GDC highlight the procedure to follow if they wish to make a complaint.

“Therefore, dentists are reminded to ensure their practice has a complaints procedure that is easy to follow and is clearly visible in the waiting room and on the practice website.

“If a patient makes a complaint, you will then be in a better position to handle the situation and possibly prevent the problem escalating.”

GDC guidance Standards for Dental Professionals requires that dentists ensure “patients are able to claim any compensation they may be entitled to by making sure dentists are protected against claims at all times.”

As of October 2013, it will be a condition of being registered to practice as a dentist to have indemnity or insurance. Dentists who aren’t properly covered won’t be able to practice in the UK.

“Being on the receiving end of a complaint or referral to the GDC can be expensive, time-consuming and stressful for dentists. It is imperative all dentists have indemnity arrangements in place to help with professional difficulties,” adds Craig.

“As well as indemnity, MDDUS provides members with access to advice as well as support at GDC hearings, disciplinary events and coroner’s inquests.”

Click here for the patient fact sheet.

Ends

For further information contact Richard Hendry on 0845 270 2034 or 07976 272266, or email rihendry@mddus.com.

Note to editors

MDDUS (The Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland) is a medical and dental defence organisation providing access to professional indemnity and expert medico- and dento-legal advice for doctors, dentists and other healthcare professionals throughout the UK. For further information on MDDUS go to www.mddus.com.

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