Dental Protection has announced that it will extend its benefits for current and new practice principal members to include additional protection against vicarious liability and/or non-delegable duty of care claims relating to treatment provided by self-employed, contracted dental practitioners.
Dental Protection says there has been growing concern about these claims and that the dental claims environment is becoming ever more complex. As a member-first organisation, it says it wants to ensure the protection it offers responds to the changing external challenges.
The additional layer of protection is included at no additional cost with effect from June 1, 2021 for current and new practice principal members who own, or have previously owned, up to three dental practices. Membership will be updated automatically.
The enhanced protection enables these practice principal members to seek assistance with vicarious liability and/or non-delegable duty of care claims arising during both their future and past membership with Dental Protection. Members who own four or more practices can apply for an extension to their membership to include this additional protection.
Further details on the extended benefits for practice principal members can be found at www.dentalprotection.org/uk/vicarious-liability
Geoff Jones, executive director of member protection and support at Dental Protection, said, “Sadly, there is a growing and unnecessary trend in some dental law firms pursuing claims against the practice owner rather than the self-employed dentists who provided the treatment and against whom negligence is alleged. This has resulted in practice owners feeling vulnerable.
“We are disappointed to see these claims being brought as they can cause real distress for the practice owner – they also pose a risk to the long-established dental practice model and the traditional arrangements that exist between practice owners and their associates.
“The law requires that individual practitioners hold appropriate indemnity to ensure patients have access to compensation in the event of a successful claim. There is no legal requirement for practice owners to also hold indemnity for treatment carried out by other practitioners, the majority of whom work as independent contractors.
“Dental Protection exists to protect the careers, reputations and financial security of our members. We remain committed to challenging the principle of these often unnecessary claims on behalf of members and the wider profession, but we also want to reassure practice principal members that they can request assistance and are as protected as they can be in a changing dental landscape.”