Getting back to work and insurance implications for practice owners
Health & Wellness

Covid-19 – Getting back to work and insurance implications for practice owners

While most practices across the UK are back up and running, many people still have questions on the implications Covid-19 poses. Below we have answered some key questions and given insight into how the dental industry has been affected. 

How will your Practice Insurance be affected?

To get your practice back up and running, it is vitally important that you understand the impact and how your practice insurance may be affected. For all insurance and indemnity policies, there is an obligation to mitigate and reduce risk as much as possible. This is in order to be covered if anything were to happen at your practice. Because of this, we advise all practice owners and workers returning to work to follow the guidelines set out by your regulators and professional bodies. This should include following all options to mitigate and reduce the risk as much as physically possible.

Failure to minimize and mitigate risk could see the insurance policy for the practice being invalidated. In addition to this, practice owners who don’t follow the guidelines could see a repudiated claim.

When it comes to risk management, it is imperative that practice owners check and inspect pressure vessel systems’ status. HSE Advice mentioned that the ‘overarching legal obligation remains.’ This means that you will need to make sure equipment is safe to use etc. In addition to this, it may be worth arranging an inspection – Speak with your insurance advisor/broker to facilitate this.

Returning to work and how this affects indemnity insurance.

We are not in a position to say whether it is safe to return back to work at your practice, but we can give guidance on what you need to consider. Indemnity policies provide insurance cover against any negligence claims that may arise during treatment being carried out at your practice.

Any claim or potential loss directly or indirectly due to any act, breach, or omission you deliberately or recklessly commit, condone or ignore is likely to be excluded. (source: AllMedPro)

Therefore, it is imperative that you follow the guidance of the regulators and professional bodies and comply with any specific policy terms. Doing this should ensure you have no problem with ongoing indemnity coverage. 

Things to consider 

There is a range of key things that need to be considered prior to invite members back to work. While most dental practices are back up and running, there are a few key questions that must be answered before this.

  • Have all of the employees at your practice been training to use the correct PPE equipment? Can you also prove that people are competent and that the training has taken place? 
  • Does your practice have the correct PPE equipment for dentists, nurses, and patients 
  • Has the dental employer acquired agreement from their employees and liability insurers?

How are HSE monitoring this?

The HSE has issued a range of guidelines relating to the Covid-19 measures that are being put in place by dentists. Those who are found not to be taking action and following the latest measures will see action taken against them. There is a range of ways in which the HSE can monitor things such as a COVID risk assessment, information throughout the premises detailing 2m distance with regular hand sanitizing areas for people to use.

HSE plan on enforcing the latest guidelines through site visits by HSE employees where they will spot check to ensure that the latest policies are put in place, phone calls to the premises to understand what measures are in place, and the gathering of photos and video evidence. 

If you would like more information relating to the HSE comments regarding this, please head on over to the GQC website who enforces these healthcare practices policies.

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