UK Dentistry Negligence

£1.1 Million Paid by DDU for Dentistry Compensation

Posted on: April 17th, 2016 by Medical Negligence

 
Recent figures have shown that £1.1 million has been paid out by the Dental Defence Union for negligent dentistry claims last year.
The DDU, the dentistry equivalent of the Medical Defence Union, provides legal support and indemnity for its members when compensation claims for dental negligence are made against them. Over the past ten years, the DDU has claimed that there has been a notable increase in the number of claims that are settled for an excess of £100,000.
In 2006, just two claims concerning the DDU’s members were settled for an excess of £100,000. However, since then over £ 5 million has been settled, with £1.1 million being paid out in 2015 alone. Eleven of these settlements exceeded six figures, the highest of which was a settlement made for a failure to diagnose and treat periodontal disease, which lead to tooth loss.
The head of the DDU, John Makin, has expressed his concern that the increasing number of claims and and worth of the settlements are making indemnity against claims increasingly expensive for dentists.  “We are seeing disturbing rises in the cost of clinical negligence claims and a surge of claims exceeding £100,000 against our dental members,” he said.
Makin has attributed the trend to heightened patient expectations and increasingly prominent advertising by solicitors specialising in medical negligence. The most common claims by patients concerned implants and unsatisfactory or excessive cosmetic treatments.
However, others have commented that Makin’s claims are misleading. One writer on dentistry.co.uk has said that patients are entitled to a high level of treatment, and that dentist should put things right if they are not as expected. If not, they should pay out compensation.
The writer has also criticised Makin for placing the blame on solicitors, as he points out that were there no solicitors dentists would be able to misdiagnose gum disease unscathed. He added that if the organisation admitted liability at an earlier stage, the costs would be much lower.