Chocolates and other edible gifts (87%) are the most popular gifts for dentists, according to a new survey.
Alcohol (40%) came in second as the most popular gift choice, whilst a pig’s head, a pheasant and homemade Christmas decorations were the more unusual gifts mentioned in a Dental Defence Union (DDU) survey.
Of the dental professionals that had responded, 77% believed they had been given a gift to show their appreciation of the care provided.
‘Our survey found 78% (100) of dental professionals who responded received at least one gift from patients in the last year, with 3% (4) lucky enough to receive more than 15 gifts in the year,’ DDU dento-legal adviser, David Lauder, said.
‘Of those dental professionals, 98% said they had no concerns about their patient’s motives in gift giving.
‘However, in the DDU’s experience of providing dento-legal advice to members, accepting gifts from patients can occasionally present ethical issues.
‘Difficulties can arise when the patient’s motive for gift giving might be unclear or misconstrued, or when the gift is expensive.
‘General Dental Council guidance states that dental professionals must refuse any gifts, payment or hospitality if accepting them could affect, or could appear to affect, their professional judgment.
‘It may be advisable to ensure the patient understands their dental care would not be affected in any way by the gift.
‘You may sometimes want to keep a record of these conversations, any correspondence, and the reasons for accepting the gift, if you did so.’