Nottingham

Nottinghamshire dentist Desmond D'Mello struck off by General Dental Council

Desmond D'Mello
Image caption More than 4,500 patients from Desmond D'Mello's practice in Daybrook were screened for blood-borne viruses

A dentist who sparked "the biggest NHS patient recall in history" has been struck off.

A total of 55 allegations of malpractice against Desmond D'Mello were proven during a General Dental Council (GDC) misconduct hearing.

Secret filming exposed poor levels of cleanliness at the Daybrook Dental Practice, near Nottingham.

The footage prompted the recall of some 22,000 patients, 4,500 of whom were tested for blood-borne viruses.

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Image copyright PA
Image caption Desmond D'Mello's Daybrook Dental Practice is now under a new name and new ownership

'A contemptible circus'

Of the 56 allegations D'Mello was accused of, all but one were were proven by the GDC.

The allegations included:

  • not changing gloves between patients
  • not putting on a new surgical mask for each patient
  • failing to wash hands between patients
  • not sterilising dental equipment after each use
  • wiping his hands on his tunic or trousers instead of washing them
  • issuing antibiotics to patients without any diagnosis or checking whether they had any allergies

Gavin Scott, chair of the panel, said Mr D'Mello's behaviour was "fundamentally incompatible with being a dental professional".

He said his failings constituted "a contemptible circus of gravely hazardous practice which placed his patients at a serious risk of infection".

Image copyright PA
Image caption NHS England warned thousands of patients that they were at a low risk of infection

Caroline Surgey, who was D'Mello's dental nurse at the same practice admitted 27 allegations at the same hearing.

The 43-year-old has been allowed to continue to work as a dental nurse, but must accept conditions and work under close supervision.

During the hearing she said Mr D'Mello was cutting costs.

"He did not like me changing gloves all the time," she told the hearing.

"I was ashamed and I could see failures in all of it and if I saw that person I would think they were a really bad person," she added.

Mr D'Mello made the decision not to attend the hearing, nor to have legal representation.

In a statement to the panel, he said he was in "total shock" at the allegations, which he accused the NHS of handling in a "humiliating" manner.

Secret filming at the practice in 2014 prompted the recall of 22,000 patients.

Image caption Patients began receiving letters in November 2014

NHS England said, of 4,526 patients who were tested following the recall, five were found to have hepatitis C.

Jonathan Green, of the GDC, said as well as not being able to practice as a dentist in the UK, dental regulators across Europe will be notified of the panel's decision.

"At no stage did Mr D'Mello demonstrate an understanding of the severity of the charges, such as by either admitting to any of his failings, or apologise to his patients," he said.

The surgery is now under new management.

Mr D'Mello was a dentist for nearly 38 years and began his own practice in 1980.

The practice in Daybrook, Nottinghamshire, is now under new management.

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