Investigation launched into dental practice
A dentist has been suspended and a police investigation launched after claims that a doctor endangered the lives of his patients by flouting safety standards. The Nottinghamshire dentist was suspended for 18 months after he was filmed by a whistleblower, allegedly failing to maintain health and safety standards. The footage sparked a major health recall, which is thought to be the largest in British history, although a medical director for the NHS said that the action was taken as a precaution.
A public appeal has been broadcast by health officials in an effort to trace all patients who were treated by the dentist during his 32-year professional career. Over 20,000 people are being encouraged to be tested for blood-borne viruses, including Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV. An NHS statement said that the dentist was not personally infected and that the patients were not at a high risk of infection due to the alleged medical malpractice.
Police are also investigating potential links between the dentist and the death of 23-year-old woman. She had been treated by the dentist in August 2013 and died later that month. A spokeswoman said that detectives were working in close partnership with the NHS to discover if there is a connection between her treatment at the dental facility and her death. She said that another patient in their twenties had also died that month after being treated, but that no evidence had been found.
A patient who has suffered personal injury or a worsened medical condition due to misdiagnosis or professional medical negligence may be able to seek compensation. Any award might take into consideration pain and suffering, medical expenses, permanent disability and any other cost caused by negligent care.
Source: Essex Country Standard, “‘Dentist alert’ patient death probe“, November 11, 2014