Principle One

Put patient's interests first

 

Principle Two

Communicate effectively with patients

 

Principle Three

Obtain valid consent

 

Principle Four

Maintain and protect patients' information

 

Principle Five

Have a clear and effective complaints procedure

 

Principle Six

Work with colleagues in a way that is in patients' best interests

 

Principle Seven

Maintain, develop and work within your professional knowledge and skills

 

Principle Eight

Raise concerns if patients are at risk

 

Principle Nine

Make sure your personal behaviour maintains patients' confidence in you and the dental profession

 

Learning Material Case Study

Indemnity

Mrs Patel is a dentist who registered with the GDC in 2001. Between December 2009 and June 2011 she practised dentistry without having appropriate professional indemnity cover in place.

She continued to treat patients at the practice, despite not having any appropriate cover in place. The Primary Care Trust asked for proof of her indemnity on numerous occasions and she admitted that she did not have any cover in place. The PCT wrote to the GDC and the case was assessed by a fitness to practise caseworker.

The fitness to practise caseworker considered that Mrs Patel mayhave breached a standard in Standards for the Dental Team.

1.8 You must have appropriate arrangements in place for patients to seek compensation if they have suffered harm.

The Investigating Committee thought that Mrs Patel’s behaviour had been unacceptable and referred her to the Professional Conduct Committee.

The Conduct Committee thought that Mrs Patel had breached a number of the fundamental principles to which all dental professionals must adhere. The Committee was concerned by Mrs Patel’s complete lack of insight into her failings and her lack of understanding of the importance of having appropriate indemnity or insurance in place.

The committee was in no doubt that Mrs Patel’s actions and omissions amounted to misconduct and it decided to erase her from the GDC register.

Practising dentistry without appropriate indemnity cover in place means that patients cannot claim compensation if something goes wrong. Our Guidance on Indemnity sets out the types of cover we think are acceptable.

If you are a practising dentist, hygienist, therapist, clinical dental technician or orthodontic therapist then you should have your own policy that covers all the risks associated with your work. If you are employed by the National Health Service, you are likely to be covered for any work you carry out as part of that employment but you should check that this is the case.

If you are a dental nurse or a dental technician, you don't necessarily need your own cover as you might be covered on your employer’s policy however it is your responsibility to check that you are covere. It would also be a good idea to ask for proof that you are covered. You might want to think about taking out your own cover as your employer's cover is unlikely to help you if someone makes a complaint about you to us.