Dental Protection has confirmed arrangements with the Irish Dental Association (IDA) to allow free access to the Dental Complaints Resolution Service (DCRS) for all Dental Protection members, from 1 July 2021 onwards.
Currently, IDA members are able to access the IDA-provided service at a 50% discount, with non-members paying full price. As the leading dental defence organisation in Ireland, Dental Protection is offering its members access to this vital service free of charge.
Established in 2012, the DCRS helps identify how best to resolve issues between dentists and patients who have a complaint about their dental treatment, without the need to involve solicitors.
If a dentist is unable to resolve a patient complaint in the first instance, either party can suggest asking for the assistance of the DCRS which will seek the agreement of both parties in order to assist with resolution. In doing so, both parties are able to reach an agreed conclusion more promptly and efficiently than is possible through the lengthy, complex processes involved in a formal legal claim.
The DCRS acts as an independent go-between, allowing patients access to an objective third-party view of the matter, and assists dentists with the often stressful and time-consuming pressures of responding to patient complaints, avoiding the lengthy wait times associated with legal claims.
Both Dental Protection and the IDA share a strong commitment to ensuring industry-wide best practice and maintaining resilience within the environment in which the profession operates. Continuing in this vein, the organisations have presented joint webinars on Cosmetic Dentistry, and are currently taking a parallel approach on calling for much needed reform of the Dental Treatment Services Scheme .
Raj Rattan, Dental Director at Dental Protection said:
"We know that resolving dental complaints can be a long, costly and drawn-out process for both dentists and patients, causing undue stress and emotional upset. Due to the complexities involved in different areas of dentistry, the lengthy wait for judicial attention, including expert witnesses, can leave patients and dentists in limbo for a prolonged period.
“It is in the interests of all parties to resolve complaints quickly to avoid the risk of escalation, which only intensifies the stress, anxiety and uncertainty of outcome for those involved in a more formal process. "
“Dental Protection greatly values the work of the DCRS and is delighted that the IDA has made their service accessible to our members in this way. This service creates a clear pathway between practitioner and patient, boosting openness and transparency. It delivers invaluable information which enables practitioners to lower the risk of adverse outcomes and continue providing their patients with a high quality of care."
Fintan Hourihan, Chief Executive of the Association, welcomed this new agreement with Dental Protection as a positive move for dentists and patients.
“The Dental Complaints Resolution Service is widely admired and has helped thousands of dentists and patients resolve complaints since its establishment as an informal and timely means of helping the parties find a solution where problems seemed intractable.
“The Association will continue to work closely with Dental Protection across many areas for the mutual benefit of our members in Ireland.”
Notes to editors
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About Dental Protection
Dental Protection is a registered trademark and a trading name of The Medical Protection Society Limited (“MPS”). MPS is the world’s leading protection organisation for doctors, dentists and healthcare professionals. We protect and support the professional interests of more than 300,000 members around the world. Membership provides access to expert advice and support together with the right to request indemnity for complaints or claims arising from professional practice.
Our in-house experts assist with the wide range of legal and ethical problems that arise from professional practice. This can include clinical negligence claims, complaints, medical and dental council inquiries, legal and ethical dilemmas, disciplinary procedures, inquests and fatal accident inquiries.
Our philosophy is to support safe practice in medicine and dentistry by helping to avert problems in the first place. We do this by promoting risk management through our workshops, E-learning, clinical risk assessments, publications, conferences, lectures and presentations.
MPS is not an insurance company. All the benefits of membership of MPS are discretionary as set out in the Memorandum and Articles of Association.