Legal reform 'needed to address cost of dental clinical negligence'

Dental / Dental Practitioner News

The government has been urged by a leading medical protection organisation to implement a package of legal reforms to help tackle the rising cost of dental clinical negligence claims.

Dental Protection has called attention to the increasingly challenging claims environment faced, as dentists in the UK are now nearly twice as likely to receive a claim for clinical negligence as was the case ten years ago.

β€œThe government has been called upon to tackle the rising cost of clinical negligence claims in the dental sector.β€œ

Full-time dentists can now expect to receive two claims over a typical career, with a survey of more than 1,500 dentists revealing that 94 percent said they feel it has become easier to bring a claim for clinical negligence than ever before.

Moreover, 90 percent are increasingly fearful of being sued, while 87 percent would support changes to the legal system to tackle the rising cost of these kinds of claim.

As such, Dental Protection has recommended that a fixed recoverable costs scheme for clinical negligence claims be introduced to stop lawyers charging disproportionate fees, while the small claims track threshold for clinical negligence claims should be increased and a minimum threshold for minor injuries compensation should be implemented.

Raj Rattan, dental director at Dental Protection, said: "It is important that there is reasonable compensation for patients harmed following clinical negligence, but a balance must be struck."

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