Another proper part of our role is education and helping members to prevent and avoid problems, and that is why we invest so much time and effort in risk management. Yet another purpose is to help members to minimise problems when they do arise, and it is in this context that part of the subscriptions you pay have been deployed to help the MDA to fund a mediation-based complaints resolution system, through the Patients Complaints Bureau Committee (PCBC).
There have been many early successes, as well as the ‘teething’ problems that you will always encounter when embarking upon an ambitious new project such as this. But the real value of a mediation and conciliation service such as that offered by the PCBC lies in the fact that it allows patients to have their concerns and complaints resolved much more quickly, and in a less confrontational way, than would be the case with the obvious alternatives such as civil litigation (a malpractice claim) or a complaint to the Dental Council. It is also better for the practitioner, enables valuable lessons to be learned and applied so that similar problems can be avoided for other patients. And above all, it is less stressful for all concerned.
Dental Protection strongly endorses the work of the PCBC under the chairmanship of Dr Thurairatnam. We urge members to make full use of this service, provided by MDA with the support of Dental Protection and MPS.