New Dental Council Code of Practice relating to Professional Behaviour and Ethical Conduct

New Dental Council Code of Practice relating to Professional Behaviour and Ethical Conduct

(07 Feb 2012)

Members will have received from the Dental Council a copy of its revised Code of Practice relating to Professional Behaviour and Ethical Conduct.

The publication of the new Guide to Professional Behaviour and Ethical Conduct by the Dental Council is to be welcomed given the overwhelming support of the dental profession for promoting the highest standards of dental care.

It is notable that the guide is very much written in plain English and this again is very much welcomed. We would strongly encourage all dentists to read the entirety of the guide which has been reformulated to reflect the patient journey according to the Council. It is also worth noting that the Council has accepted a number of proposals from the Irish Dental Association which we feel will not only ensure adherence to the highest standards of dentistry but also offer appropriate protection to dentists particularly where they are faced with difficult patients or where they are have concerns about their ability to provide the highest standards of care because of funding cutbacks and resource deficiencies.

While there are a number of new provisions in the guide including the requirement to have a complaints procedure (and therefore it is particularly timely that the Association is rolling out a Complaints Procedure), new provisions regarding adverse events, the management of data, and social media, there are also significant changes to key provisions including those dealing with consent, communicating with patients and the need to ensure understanding of the treatment plan, outcomes and cost.

There are also important provisions dentists ought to become familiar with including the provisions relating to patient records and also in regard to promoting dental practices as well as significant provisions regarding the health of dentists, the need to notify appropriate authorities, new provisions regarding ceasing practice and also the clear onus on dentists to only undertake treatments dentists are competent to complete safely and to a satisfactory standard.

The Association will circulate more detailed advice to its members shortly, but, in the meantime, we would strongly encourage all readers to acquaint themselves with the full text of the Code.