Developing agreement on never events in primary care dentistry: an international eDelphi study

E. Ensaldo-Carrasco*, A. Carson-Stevens, K. Cresswell, R. Bedi, A. Sheikh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Never events (NEs) are a subset of serious patient safety incidents that should not occur if appropriate preventive measures are implemented. Although there is a consensus in medicine, there is no agreement on NEs in dentistry. Aim: To identify NEs in primary care dentistry. Method: We undertook an electronic Delphi exercise to develop an international agreement on NEs for primary care dentistry. Results: We initially identified candidate NEs through a scoping review of the literature and then analysed dentistry-related reports in a national incident reporting system. Next, we invited an international panel of 41 experts to complete two rounds of questionnaires; 32 agreed to participate (78%) and completed the first round and 29/41 (71%) members completed the second round. We provided anonymised controlled feedback between rounds and used a cut-off of 80% agreement to define consensus. Consensus was achieved for 23 out of 42 candidate NEs. These related to routine assessment, and pre-operative, intra-operative and post-operative stages of dental procedures. Discussion and conclusion: To our knowledge, this is the first international expert consensus-based approach that has identified NEs for primary care dentistry. We suggest that dental regulators consider these to support quality assessment and governance activities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)733-740
Number of pages8
JournalBritish Dental Journal
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 11 May 2018


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