Richard Lishman on litigation claims against dentists.
None of us may want to face up to it, but litigation claims against dentists are on the rise. We’re seeing a worrying upward trend in claims being made for misdiagnosis, neglect or professional error – but what’s caused this increase?
Many would agree that the change is, in part, patient-led. Thanks to a far better dissemination of information regarding different treatments, patients are more aware of what they should expect from their dentists. In many cases, they have a preconceived idea of the desired outcome, and if the results do not match up they will be disappointed.
Combine this with the ‘claim culture’ that has been fermenting in the UK for the last several years, and we can see just how risky dentistry has become for the practitioner.
We must also be aware of the demonstrable generalisation of dentistry. Due to the accessibility of new technology and training courses, GDPs are now able to undertake cases that may have once been referred to a specialist. While it is undeniable that many GDPs are achieving exceptional results, there are numerous examples of treatments that have gone awry.
With all of this in mind, it is crucial that dentists now consider their indemnity cover, to ensure they are fully protected in the future. Contractual cover is, by far, the option that affords greater peace of mind, but knowing what to choose can be a difficult and time-consuming task. Discussing your options with your IFA is the best approach to take in order to be certain you have a policy that suits your needs.
Richard T Lishman is the Managing Director of money4dentists, which is part of the 4dentists group – an all-encompassing service for busy dentists in need of professional business and personal financial advice.
Posted by Gemma