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Picking up on the signs

15 July 2014
With everything else going on, it can be easy to miss signs of a patient’s dissatisfaction, but you can save yourself a lot of trouble later on by tuning your senses to even the mildest shifts in personality…

A patient complained to a regulatory body about the attitude of a dentist and his nurse. In the letter, the patient referred to a previous incident in the surgery which related to a lack of cleanliness in the surgery.

The authority did not pursue the matter of the dentist’s attitude but carried out a full investigation of the dentist’s infection control techniques. These were found to be satisfactory and subsequently the dentist was not found guilty of any misconduct. Nevertheless the whole episode caused a considerable amount of stress. 

Learning point:
Had the dentist missed an earlier opportunity to identify this patient’s dissatisfaction? A response to the earlier issue might have prevented the complaint being made in the first place.
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These case studies are based on real events and provided here as guidance. They do not constitute legal advice but are published to help members better understand how they might deal with certain situations. This is just one of the many benefits Dental Protection members enjoy as part of their subscription. 
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