Know your rights, dental patients told

The General Dental Council (GDC) has produced a new factsheet for patients across the UK to help them understand what responsibility their dental professional has to make sure their indemnity or insurance is up to date.

Indemnity and/or insurance is a way for dental professionals to ensure patients have a way to claim compensation if something goes wrong with the treatment they’re having.

The GDC has had measures in place for more than two decades requiring registrants to have adequate indemnity or insurance in place and patients should feel confident asking their dentist or other dental professional about this.

The new factsheet guides patients through what is expected of their dental professional as well as what to do if something does go wrong.

It is available online at www.gdc-uk.org/Membersofpublic/Documents/Indemnity%20patient%20information%20FINAL%20August%202012.pdf. Chief executive of the GDC, Evlynne Gilvarry said: ‘We are working to increase the current, substantial protections for patients, by seeking powers to require proof of insurance or indemnity as a condition of being registered to practise as a dentist or dental care professional.  We expect to have these powers by October 2013.’

Every time the GDC investigates a complaint about a dentist, it checks that they have adequate and appropriate indemnity or insurance in place – even if the complaint is about something else.

The GDC can stop dental professionals working in the UK if they are found not to have indemnity or insurance and the new powers being sought will mean dental professionals not only have to have insurance before they can practise but declare they have it every year after that.
 

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