The General Dental Council (GDC) is hoping that a new fact sheet will help patients to understand the responsibility their dental professional has in relation to indemnity or insurance.

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 receive and measures have been in place for more than two decades requiring dentists to have adequate indemnity or insurance in place.

In an attempt to encourage patients to feel confident about asking their dentist or other dental professional about this issue, the new fact sheet guides patients through what is expected of their dental professional as well as what to do if something does go wrong.

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.

A copy of the factsheet can be found on the GDC web site