I read in the Times how a Tesco outlet in Bedford became the first in England to offer an NHS dentist within its store.
The brief details I read suggested that a local practice, Integrated Dental Holdings (IDH) had made the decision in approximately June 2013 to move premises to an in-store location next to the toothpaste aisle.
Principal of the practice, Shazna Bibi, said it seemed like a logical extension: “You can already pretty much get anything in a supermarket.”
I can see the commercial decision behind this move as other professions, such as pharmacists and optometrists etc have already brought services in to supermarkets which can be of convenience to the supermarket shopper.
Whilst the practice/Tesco would still owe a duty to any visitor under the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 I would hope that the in-store practice layout would be in such a way as to offer safe and secure treatment facilities to the patient. Further to this, as long as the practitioner has the relevant degree of care and skill and has professional liability insurance which provides sufficient cover to allow treatment in this environment then this could be a successful business venture.
By Barry Sutton, personal injury department