Dentists without indemnity risk erasure

PRESS RELEASE

For immediate release: Wednesday, 15 May 2013

UK-wide dental defence organisation MDDUS is reminding dentists of their obligation to have professional indemnity cover in place – or risk erasure from the dental register.

All General Dental Council (GDC) registrants are required to have appropriate and adequate indemnity in place so that patients can claim any compensation they may be entitled to. There have been a number of high-profile cases in the last year where dentists have failed to have indemnity or insurance and, as a result, have been struck off.

“Having professional cover in place is a GDC requirement and ensures protection for dentists and their patients,” says Aubrey Craig, MDDUS Head of Dental Division.

“The GDC are coming down hard on those who fail to protect their patients’ interest with a number of dentists erased from the dental register for working without indemnity. There have been recent high-profile cases where the GDC have struck off practitioners and dentists are reminded to ensure they are covered.”

As well as it being a GDC requirement, dentists have a duty to their patients to ensure they are adequately covered for the treatment they carry out so the patient can claim compensation if something does go wrong.

“Practitioners may believe that they will never face professional difficulties but it can, and does, happen,” says Craig. “Even if a patient was to complain and you are innocent of any wrongdoing, you risk being struck off by the GDC if you are not indemnified.

“MDDUS has over a hundred years of experience in protecting members and offer dentists access to professional indemnity and expert dento-legal advice. Our team of advisers can help with such things as patient complaints, claims of negligence and referral to the GDC.”

It may also be the case that dentists have inadvertently not renewed their membership due to changes in their bank details or other personal information. “By setting up a direct debit, dentists can minimise the possibility of putting their registration at risk,” adds Craig.

“Ultimately, though, it is the dentist’s responsibility to ensure they have adequate cover in place.”

GDC Standards for Dental Professionals states: “Make sure your patients are able to claim any compensation they may be entitled to by making sure you are protected against claims at all times, including past periods of practice.”

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.