BDA Indemnity: Provision of cover for policyholders
28 May 2020
The following information is for BDA Indemnity policyholders. Members who have cover with other providers should seek confirmation there.
In the last eight weeks of the pandemic of strictly limited dental activity BDA Indemnity policyholders have been increasingly concerned about the extent of their cover for a range of work either in the practice providing telephone triage or at urgent dental centres treating patients in pain.
During this time we have spoken to many members who had specific patients for whom they wished to provide urgent care as they had not been able to access this through urgent dental care centres.
We advised them to do a risk assessment. If they felt, having gone through that risk assessment that managing that patient face-to-face with interventive dental treatment was in the patient's best interest, then they could be assured of cover under the policy.
Good clinical records are required and the template has been made available to all BDA Indemnity members. This advice has been consistent to all policyholders throughout this time whether they were working under NHS or private contractual arrangements.
Policyholders who work under private contractual arrangements have requested reassurance about the extent of their cover at a time that there are perceived and actual restrictions on the extent of treatment allowed by NHS contractual arrangements in the four devolved nations.
Dental services is defined deliberately widely in the BDA Indemnity policy. If a policyholder is providing dental services to patients they can be assured of cover.
In the event of a challenge from a patient, regulator or any other body, the quality and success of a policyholders defence will always be determined by the factual matrix of what happened at the particular incident time, what the allegations are and what the dentist did or did not do at the time or afterwards, and the contemporaneous clinical records. It will also depend on the prevailing context of the guidance, laws and directives that were in force at the time.
BDA Indemnity members can be assured that under their contractual insurance cover we are not able to exercise our discretion not to cover them. They can therefore confidently look to us to be by their side through these challenging times as they provide dental services in the coming weeks and months whether under NHS or private contractual arrangements.