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Our emergency advice helpline is not
designed to deal with queries about payments, existing cases or membership categories. These enquiries should be made when the office is next open or by email using the details on our Contact
More about emergency advice
Dental Protection currently handles approximately 2,000 calls a week from members. The majority of them are between 8.30am and 5.30pm GMT when the systems in our three offices are designed for an effective response. Our dento-legal advisers and their secretaries have access to a variety of databases that support the needs of the membership during those hours. Occasionally an emergency will arise which needs support outside those hours and our on-call dento-legal advisers on call are happy to assist you in these circumstances, particularly if an urgent situation has arisen concerning the safety of patients or staff.
Some examples of emergency situations where out of hours support may be requested are:
- A serious untoward incident. This might be the death of a patient, or a serious medical event, such as a collapse associated with dental treatment. In such circumstances the police may become involved and members may be asked to provide a statement.
- Unexpected visits from or contacts with the police, NHS Business Services Authority or the media.
Unexpected raids on the practice by the police or an arrest involving allegations of criminal activity or a problem directly or indirectly associated with professional misconduct and/or the practise of dentistry are rare - but we can provide emergency advice about how to react to such an event. Once further details of the case emerge, decisions can be made about the level of ongoing assistance (if any) we can provide. Please note that issues of personal conduct unrelated to the practise of dentistry would not normally fall within the scope of our assistance.
We appreciate that some discussions are more easily undertaken away from the practice and therefore out of clinic hours. However, without access to our databases, out of hours calls about ongoing support will be of limited benefit.
Whilst we are committed to providing emergency advice out of hours, members are asked to discuss routine non-urgent administrative issues during office hours. It is also in the best interests of members to make calls for assistance or to follow up an emergency call when the office is open and the supporting databases are available between 8.30am and 5.30pm. The adviser answering the call will then be able to review the log of previous calls to understand the context of the ongoing issue and provide consistent advice.
The dento-legal advisers who provide the out of hours helpline service do not have access to our databases, and may be taking your call while travelling which could mean they will need to call you back.
Seeking advice during office hours avoids the potential problems of conversations with an adviser being overheard, as our advisers may be working outside of an office environment when they receive a call. Clearly discussing sensitive issues in a public space could compromise confidentiality, so sometimes it will be necessary for the adviser to return your call at a mutually convenient time.