Dental professionals are required by law to have appropriate indemnity or insurance in place before they practise. This is to ensure that, in the instances that any patient suffers harm during the course of treatment, they can seek appropriate compensation. Whilst indemnity or insurance is there to help patients seek compensation on the rare occasions things go wrong, it also protects dental professionals from being personally liable for financial consequences.

Dental professionals must engage and cooperate with their provider should a patient make a claim and ensure that their actions, or inaction, do not invalidate their indemnity or insurance cover.

The General Dental Council (GDC) are proposing changes to its guidance on indemnity and insurance to ensure “it is up-to-date and better supports dental professionals to understand and meet their legal and regulatory obligations, in the interest of patients and maintaining public confidence in the profession”.

The proposed changes will explain the different types of cover available and highlight the additional benefits that dental professionals should consider when arranging cover, such as advice and support for their wellbeing during a claim.

Stefan Czerniawski, GDC Executive Director, Strategy, said:

“Our priority is that patients are kept safe in the first place and that compensation therefore is unnecessary. However, in those rare and regrettable instances where something has gone wrong with treatment, it is essential that patients get the compensation they are entitled to. It’s important that dental professionals understand their responsibilities and can make the appropriate decision about indemnity or insurance and their actions, so that patients are not adversely affected. This revised guidance aims to do just that.”

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