The GDC says all members of the dental team, including nurses, "must have appropriate arrangements in place for patients to seek compensation if they suffer harm" (paragraph 1.8, 'Standards for the Dental Team').
Dental nurses are responsible for ensuring either that they have access to indemnity in their own right, or that appropriate arrangements are in place through their employer. The GDC recognises the following:
- dental defence organisation membership - individual, or provided through an employer's membership
- professional indemnity insurance held individually or by an employer
- indemnity provided by NHS bodies.
The GDC says you "must not make any assumptions about whether or not you are covered by [your employer's] arrangements," and that if you are relying on these you must check the position with them (GDC, 'Guidance on indemnity').
There's more information about the GDC's registration requirements on its website.
DDU membership for dental nurses
Even if you rely on your employer's professional indemnity arrangements for claims, it's worth considering if individual membership of a dental defence organisation could offer you more support.
For example, if you were the subject of a GDC investigation, your employer's indemnity would not provide any assistance.
However, individual dental nurse DDU membership gives you access to a wide range of benefits, including access to dento-legal advice as well as your own professional indemnity. This means you'll have somewhere to turn for expert dento-legal advice and legal representation if a GDC investigation or disciplinary hearing arising from your clinical practice.
Find out more about DDU membership here.
This page was correct at publication on 23/12/2021. Any guidance is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.