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Find out why it matters and how it works
Traditionally, clinical negligence claims are made against individual healthcare professionals, or sometimes the clinical partners, or dental principals that employ them. But where a healthcare professional is employed by a company rather than a partnership it is likely that a claim will be made against the company, either instead of or as well as the individual. In this scenario a company means a separate legal entity e.g. a private limited company or limited liability partnership, which could be held liable for a range of problems, including:• the actions or omissions of staff it employs, whether or not they have their own professional indemnity arrangements, for example dental nurses and dental technicians• failures in practice systems or procedures such as patient referrals or test results• a failure to properly investigate complaints or patient safety concerns.Even where claims are made against an individual dentist, there is still a risk that the company itself is also sued for failures in its procedures and controls. That’s why corporate associate membership is so important: it provides your company with access to indemnity if these sorts of issues arise.
Our corporate associate membership means we can provide indemnity and defence costs for claims brought against the company for its activities in providing clinical professional services. Corporate associate membership benefits are provided on a claims-made basis, which means that to request assistance for an adverse incident you must be in a period of active membership, both at the time the incident occurred and at the time we are notified of it. You should therefore report adverse incidents or possible adverse incidents to us as soon as practically possible. An adverse incident is any event or circumstance that might give rise to a claim of clinical negligence against you. You should also be aware that once a membership which operates on a claims-made basis ends, you cannot notify us of new claims arising from the membership period. You will need to ask your new insurer or indemnity provider for retroactive indemnity to cover any claims arising from your membership period that have not been notified to us. Find out more about incident reporting requirements here
Corporate associate membership of Dental Protection isn’t designed to replace professional indemnity. It doesn’t provide indemnity for the acts or omissions of individual dental professionals where they should have their own individual arrangements. This applies even where the organisation is liable for that act or omission. We usually require dentists, and sometimes dental care professionals, employed or contracted by your organisation have their own individual professional indemnity arrangements in place. This is so they are adequately protected in the event of a clinical negligence claim, or if they need to seek assistance with other dentolegal problems, such as regulatory proceedings and criminal or coroner investigations. Dental Protection membership is the ideal choice for individual protection arrangements too, providing professional support and expert advice that goes beyond defence for claims.
These individual arrangements for dentists and dental care professionals don’t have to be with Dental Protection, however. But if they are, where possible we can make managing memberships easier with group administration.Doing this streamlines your indemnity arrangement. It helps minimise conflicts when claims affecting both individuals and the company arise. It can also minimise costs and delays in handling claims as all matters are dealt with by one indemnity provider.
You should recommend to employed or contracted dental care professionals without individual protection arrangements that they maintain membership of an appropriate professional trade body. This is to ensure they have support for matters such as regulatory and disciplinary proceedings.
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