Endpiece: Thoughts on Dental Indemnity 2018
Tony Jacobs
None of us own a working crystal ball, if only we could predict the future? Like the country chap asked for directions by a passing tourist, "well if I was going there, I wouldn't start from here!". So much of the change in the last decade or so has been far outside the control of the profession, and even now, the profession is simply unable to create the leverage to make common sense changes to aspects which have gone badly wrong. Years go, our profession only used lawyers occasionally, buy or sell a property or practice, partnership agreements and little more. Yet today's dental panorama has lawyers reaching to the profession over so many matters, CQC, NHS contracts, partnerships and one hears practice sales are both lengthy and a minefield these days. It is no comfort to feel our profession is helping the lawyers with their balance sheets and pensions. UK dentists feel like they are truly over a barrel with the current dento-legal crises. The no win no fee lawyers are trawling through any notes they can find for any historic issues from which they can create a case. The GDC complaints train still rolls along, seemingly frictionless, although GDC says the Case Examiner system is throwing out most cases over the last year, suggesting the number of Practise Committee cases will fall.

In both those aspects, litigation and regulatory matters mean costs for the indemnity providers must have risen markedly, they have larger teams, large offices, and their costs rise. The largest of the mutually owned indemnifiers have large free reserves available, in the billions of pounds, trying to cover the "unknown-unknowns", they raise their fees due to the present climate, and to increase that reserve for future unknown claims.
20th Anniversary Magazine