DCRS Annual Report published

Mary Culliton
Facilitator, Dental Complaints Resolution Service.

The Dental Complaints Resolution Service (DCRS) launched its Annual Report at the start of August. The Report covers both 2020 and 2021, and is the first presented by new Facilitator Mary Culliton. The DCRS has continued its important role in dentistry in Ireland, providing an efficient resolution process for dentists and patients who find themselves in disagreement.
In her foreword to the Report, IDA President Dr Caroline Robins notes that the DCRS is ten years in operation this year, and that in that time “the Service has earned the praise of many other professions here in Ireland and among dental communities across the world.
In fact, we know of no other equivalent service, and are justly proud of the huge contribution the Service has made to bolstering confidence in dentistry, saving dentists and patients thousands of hours, which would otherwise have been spent seeking resolution in the courts or elsewhere”.
Over the ten years the DCRS has been operational, the IDA estimates that it has received over 15,000 letters, calls and emails, handled over 1,000 complaints, and resolved more than 600 of those. The Dental Council and Dental Protection both continued their praise of the DCRS with statements of their own in the Report. In her Facilitator’s report, Mary Culliton speaks about the things that she has learned in her first couple of years dealing with dental complaints. She says that the first thing patients want is to be heard, and that they deserve this even if they are not right in their complaint. Mary also says: “Equally, the dentist needs to be heard. Receiving a complaint can be frightening, particularly for an inexperienced dentist or indeed an experienced dentist for whom it is a first complaint. As Facilitator, I aim to be a source of help to both parties”. In 2020, there were a total of 334 complaints/queries, which resulted in 154 accepted complaints (Table 1). In 2021, there was a slight increase with 357 complaints/queries, and 163 accepted complaints (Table 2). For the first time, the Report includes two memoranda of service, one for patients and one for dentists, which explain what the DCRS does and how it works in both parties’ circumstances.

To download/read the DCRS Annual Report, go to www.dentalcomplaints.ie or www.dentist.ie.