Updated GDC Guidance and Implications for Dentists
The General Dental Council (GDC) has recently issued updated guidance that will come into effect on February 12, 2024. This comprehensive guidance introduces important changes and considerations for dental professionals across the UK. In this document, we will explore the key aspects of the updated guidance and its potential implications. Additionally, we answer the 12 questions from the GDC from the perspective of All Med Pro.
What Changes Should Dentists Anticipate from This Updated Guidance?
The updated GDC guidance places a significant emphasis on the importance of professional indemnity and insurance cover for dental practitioners. It reinforces the legal requirement that all dental professionals must have appropriate indemnity or insurance cover in place when they begin their practice. This coverage should encompass their entire scope of practice.
One of the notable changes is the increased attention to the diversity of indemnity providers in the market. Dental professionals are encouraged to exercise their judgment in selecting the most suitable cover for their specific needs, as long as it ensures patients can receive compensation in case of harm.
The guidance also distinguishes between personal indemnity and insurance products and emphasies the need for dental professionals to comply with the terms and conditions of their cover to ensure patient compensation.
Employed-based schemes are addressed, with the guidance emphasising the importance of verifying the coverage provided by employers and the need for additional coverage if any aspect of a dentist’s work falls outside the scope of these schemes.
What Are Our Initial Thoughts on the Updated Guidance Provided by the GDC?
The updated guidance from the GDC is indeed a welcome development. It arrives at a crucial time when the dental profession is witnessing a surge in indemnity providers in the UK. While some of these providers offer commendable services, others may fall short of ensuring the best interests of dental professionals.
The proliferation of indemnity providers has led to confusion and misinformation within the industry. The GDC’s guidance provides much-needed clarity and a structured approach for dental professionals to ask the right questions and gain a better understanding of what each provider offers.
Actions for All Med Pro Clients and Additional Questions
Do Current Clients of All Med Pro Need to Take Any Actions in Response to This Guidance? Does It Affect Their Policy?
For our existing clients, it’s important to note that the updated GDC guidance does not impact the policies provided by our All Med Pro. We continue to stand by our commitment to provide dental professionals with comprehensive coverage and support.
Our policies are designed to align with the guidance, and our experience in offering insurance-backed indemnity since 2011 ensures that our clients have peace of mind. We offer both claims made and claims occurrence cover, allowing us to tailor coverage based on individual needs and provide transparent and diligent advice.
Questions to Consider When Arranging Your Cover
As dental professionals evaluate their coverage options, it’s essential to consider the set of critical questions set by the GDC:
- Liabilities to Patients: It is crucial to evaluate whether the chosen provider adequately addresses your liabilities to patients in the event of a successful claim. With All Med Pro, you can rest assured that our policy, backed by one of the world’s largest insurers, provides compensation. We have a track record of successfully offering insurance-backed coverage for dental professionals since 2011.
- Coverage for Tasks, Locations, and Hours: Ensure that the insurance/indemnity product offers coverage for all the tasks you perform, locations where you work, and the hours you put in. All Med Pro goes above and beyond by covering any location within the UK without the need for specific location declarations. We also cover all treatments provided, provided they are declared. It’s essential to notify us if your activities change to maintain continuous coverage.
- Financial and Other Limits: Understand the financial or other limits of the insurance/indemnity product. All Med Pro offers an indemnity limit of up to £10,000,000, and each policy is individually underwritten. We take a unique approach, advising based on the individual’s needs rather than a one-size-fits-all commercial offer.
- Sufficiency of Financial Cover: Assess whether the level of financial cover aligns with the risks associated with your specific professional practice. All Med Pro believes that our coverage exceeds the requirements of the dental profession, offering robust protection.
- Basis of Cover: Determine whether the insurance product is occurrence-based or claims-made. Additionally, clarify if patients can still receive compensation if a claim is made after the policy has expired. All Med Pro uniquely provides both claims made and claims occurrence cover, allowing for personalised guidance on the basis of your specific needs. Our experienced team can explain the differences, considerations when switching covers, potential gaps, and how to address them effectively.
- Support in Disciplinary and Non-Claims Matters: In addition to claims-related matters, it’s essential to consider the support available for disciplinary or fitness-to-practise proceedings and other non-claims-related issues. At All Med Pro, we recognise the complexity of these situations and offer a comprehensive support package designed specifically for dental professionals.
Our Support Package Includes:
Professional Defence against Patient Complaints and Regulatory Matters: Our package covers both Claims Made and Claims Occurrence basis, ensuring you are protected whether the claim arises during the policy period or later.
Retroactive Cover: We provide added protection by including retroactive cover, which extends to previous discretionary periods. This means you are safeguarded not only for current situations but also for past cases.
Private GP Service: Access to a 24/7 GP service providing a convenient way to address your health needs. This ensures you can prioritise your well-being while managing professional matters.
Personal Dento-Legal Advisors: Our package includes access to experienced and dedicated Dento-Legal Advisors who can provide expert guidance tailored to your specific situation.
Dedicated Account Management Team: You will have a dedicated team of experts managing your accounts, ensuring your needs are met promptly and efficiently.
Education Centre: We believe in continuous professional development. Our package includes access to an Education Centre offering free CPD webinars, podcasts, and events to keep you updated with the latest developments in your field.
Our all-encompassing support package is designed to comprehensively safeguard the dental profession. We provide proactive support, expert guidance, and opportunities for continuous professional development. With our package, you can have peace of mind knowing that you have a reliable team supporting you in all aspects of your dental practice.
- Personal Financial Liability: It’s crucial to assess whether the insurance product offers peace of mind regarding your personal financial liability. All Med Pro strives to exceed your expectations and provide you with the assurance you need to continue your profession without worry.
- Terms and Conditions: Familiarise yourself with the terms and conditions of the policy and determine your confidence in complying with them. Each policy’s terms and conditions are bespoke to the individual, similar to car and home insurance policies. Our team is available to guide you through these conditions and address any concerns.
- Changes in Circumstances: Be proactive in notifying us if your circumstances change, such as alterations to your scope of practice, taking on new tasks, changes in working hours, or transitioning to a non-clinical role. Even though some changes may not require notification, we encourage you to keep us informed, as certain changes can have implications for past or future coverage.
- Support and Advice Services: Confirm whether the provider offers support and advice services, including legal advice and well-being support, as part of the insurance coverage. All Med Pro goes the extra mile to provide a comprehensive range of support and advice services. This includes:
Legal Advice: Our legal advice service extends beyond regulatory matters, covering a wide range of legal issues, such as Coroners Inquests, criminal matters, and contract disputes.
Cover for Good Samaritan Acts: We ensure coverage for Good Samaritan acts, recognising that healthcare professionals often find themselves in situations requiring assistance outside their regular practice.
Access to a Private GP Service: You and your immediate family have access to a private GP service 24/7, allowing you to address health needs promptly and conveniently.
- Coverage for Students or Trainees: If you are responsible for students or trainees, rest assured that our product can provide appropriate cover. Simply notify us to ensure comprehensive protection.
- Employer or Practice Owner: If you employ dental professionals or own a dental practice, consider whether your policy covers nondelegable duty of care or vicarious liability. We arrange this cover for those who employ dental professionals, and our team is available to provide guidance on vicarious liability and non-delegable duty of care.
In conclusion, when arranging your coverage, thorough consideration of these questions ensures that you select the insurance product that best aligns with your unique needs and offers comprehensive protection throughout your dental career. All Med Pro is committed to exceeding your expectations and providing you with the peace of mind and support necessary for a successful and worry-free profession.
To talk to one of our expert team members today regarding your dental indemnity insurance, click here: https://outlook.office365.com/owa/calendar/[email protected]/bookings/s/zcycRp7YbUyCC1NNXCa5uA2 We are here to help guide you through your insurance, ensuring you receive 360-degree support, personalised service, and excellent coverage.
Adam O’Keeffe – Director – [email protected]