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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

To identify NEs in primary care dentistry.

We undertook an electronic Delphi exercise to develop an international agreement on NEs for primary care dentistry.

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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