A BRIDGWATER dentist has narrowly escaped being banned from practising for a year after he failed to obtain indemnity insurance.

Duncan Ian Mardo Carmichael, of Lion House Dentistry, was initially suspended from working as a dentist for 12 months on June 4 after he was found not to have taken out insurance to protect his patients.

The General Dental Council heard Mr Carmichael had provided dental services for approximately 20 months while he did not hold adequate professional indemnity insurance.

But Mr Carmichael requested an early review of the case after securing indemnity insurance.

Hannah Siddall, Communications Officer for the GDC, told the Mercury: “Mr Car-michael’s interim suspension has been re-placed with interim conditions for the remainder of the 12-month period.”

The conditions include notifying the GDC of any post Mr Carmichael accepts for which registration is required, providing contact details of his employer for the GDC, informing the GDC of any formal disciplinary proceedings taken against him and informing parties about the conditions.

Ms Siddall said that although currently dentists are not legally required to have indemnity insurance, it is a requirement by the GDC.

She added: “Not having indemnity insurance is a serious matter.

“If, for example, a dentist damaged a pat-ients’ mouth and did not have insurance, the patient would not be able to claim compensation.”

But she added the Government was intending to publish a Section 60 Order, hoped to be in place by May 2015, which will introduce a requirement for all practising healthcare professionals to have appropriate indemnity or insurance cover as a condition of professional registration.

Following the GDC hearing, Mr Carmichael said: “I have just returned to work after a protracted period of ill health.

“During that period it became apparent that there was a problem with my registration with the General Dental Council.

“This resulted in my temporary suspension.

“The situation has been resolved and the GDC have restored my registration.”