In a recent unreported case (Ramdhean -v- Agedo (1) The Forum Dental Practice Limited (2) [2020]), the Court held, at first instance, that a dental practice:

  • owes a duty of care to an NHS patient (which may not be delegated or outsourced); and
  • is liable for an associate dentist’s negligence in giving treatment to that patient.

Set against a generally accepted understanding and practice that dental associates have self-employed status and their own professional indemnity insurance, the judgement may come as a surprise to many within the profession.

Although the extent of liability has yet to be resolved, it is clear that the Courts are prepared to impose non-delegable duties of care and vicarious liability on a dental practice in respect of treatment given at the practice by associate dentists, which may well have significant and wide-ranging effects for the dental profession generally and, in particular, dental practices and their owners.

If you would like any further information about this, please contact Corporate and Commercial Solicitor Nick Mayles by email at or by phone on 01206 574431.

Nick Mayles is a highly experienced transactional corporate and commercial lawyer, and partner, at Thompson Smith and Puxon.