Dental Risk (Henderson, 2021)

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Dental Risk Day | Stephen Henderson (MDDUS) | Friday 26th November 2021


Dental practices have been put under extraordinary pressure in the past 20 months causing severe tests to personal and professional and business resilience. As the country emerges from the pandemic the speakers day will reflect the medico-legal challenges that practices face, in spite of and because of the pandemic. The way that the dental team has to communicate with patients is crucial for the effective and safe delivery of care, so the speakers will explore how the use of Human Factor principles will affect the outcome of care for patients.

MDDUS advisers have noted that patient complaints are more difficult to manage and take longer to resolve. Complaints management is a challenge for the whole dental team so the speakers will discuss the risk management steps that the whole team can take to prevent, manage and resolve complaints.

There have been some significant developments in the medico-legal landscape in recent months. Several court cases have discussed the responsibility of practice owners in relation to claims in negligence. It is important that practitioners understand how these judgments affect their own practices. At the same time the General Dental Council has decided to review its Scope of Practice Guidance. This will inevitably impact the whole of the dental team, so delegates will be asked to reflect how this might affect their own personal practice and the way that dental care is delivered to their patients.

Finally, as this is a face to face event, there will be an opportunity for delegates to “Ask the Adviser” This will be a chance for lively debate and discussion of the problems that practitioners face and to appreciate the challenges that an indemnity organisation faces when dealing with requests for assistance and cases.

The day will be illustrated with examples of cases that the advisers and their colleagues have dealt with.

Aims and Objectives of the day

In addressing this agenda the course will deliver GDC Development outcomes A,B, and D

By the end of the day the delegates will

  • Be able to describe the importance of effective communication with patients as a risk management skill
  • Be able to explain how a claim in negligence could impact the owners of a practice
  • Understand how to manage a verbal and a written complaint
  • Appreciate the changes proposed for the GDC Scope of Practice Guidance and feel able to contribute to the consultation shortly to be launched.

About Stephen Henderson

Stephen is the Head of the Dental Division at MDDUS and is a Specialist in Oral Surgery who qualified in London in 1984. After five years in full time hospital practice he went in to general dental practice in Oxford. He continued to work part-time in the Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Department of the John Radcliffe Hospital until 2000, when he joined Dental Protection. He converted his practice to a largely private referral oral surgery practice when he became a full time adviser at DP in 2007. He continued to work as a visiting specialist in the same practice and at a practice in Bedford until the pandemic commenced. He has undertaken Expert Witness training with Bond Solon.

In December 2017 he left DP and joined MDDUS. In his medico-legal career Stephen’s expertise has been complex GDC cases as his medical law degree included a dissertation on Regulatory Law in UK. He has experience of international regulators and the management of dental and maxillofacial claims in a number of different jurisdictions.