Dentist and practice manager struck off
Allegations of inadequate infection control practices and dishonesty found proven
An Ayrshire dentist and his practice manager have been struck off by the General Dental Council for a series of infection control breaches.
Alan Morrison (61112), principal dentist at Millbank Dental Surgery and Drongan Dental Surgery, was also found to have falsified invoices for supplies and instruments that he did not buy.
After a month-long public hearing at the GDC’s headquarters in London, Morrison and practice manager Lorraine Kelly (148411) were removed from the register pending appeal. Morrison was found guilty of re-using matrix bands on different patients, not changing surgical gloves between patients, re-using single-use instruments and for not properly ensuring that equipment was sterilised or disinfected before being re-used.
Your woeful behaviour, as detailed in this determination, has damaged your fitness to practise and public confidence in the dental profession
GDC Professional Conduct Committee
He was also found to have created false invoices for dental supplies and instruments he didn’t buy, in a “concerted effort to deliberately deceive the health board”.
Their colleague Dawn Grant (148415) was also placed under conditions for a period of 12 months. Kelly and Grant both faced allegations of reusing single-use items, for inadequate infection control and dishonestly responding to the investigation by NHS Ayrshire and Arran.
In reaching their decision to determine misconduct for Morrison, the committee said: “Your actions in reusing single-use items, permitting other dental nurses to include used single-use items in the instruments laid out for the treatment of patients, failing to arrange the training of your staff in cross-infection control and failing to ensure that your practices contained local decontamination units which complied with the requirements of NHS Scotland, put patients at unwarranted risk of harm.
“You breached fundamental tenets of the dental profession and your actions brought the profession into disrepute. In addition, your dishonest conduct was a concerted effort to deliberately deceive the health board in relation to the purchase of single use items at your practices.”
In reaching their decision to remove Morrison from the register, the committee concluded: “Your woeful behaviour, as detailed in this determination, has damaged your fitness to practise and public confidence in the dental profession to the extent that removal of your professional status is the only appropriate and proportionate outcome.”
In considering Kelly’s allegations, the committee noted it has not seen any evidence of remorse or insight into the practice manager’s dishonest conduct regarding the cross-infection control concerns.
It said: “The cross-infection control failings, the dishonest conduct and the attempt to interfere with an investigation found proved against Mrs Kelly were very serious departures from the standards of conduct expected of a registered dental care professional and fell significantly short of the standards expected of the profession.”
In considering the allegations against Grant, the committee said: “Dental nurses have the responsibility of ensuring that instruments for the treatment of patients are put through the appropriate cross-infection control processes. As a registered dental care professional, Mrs Grant had a responsibility to report any breaches of cross-infection control to the appropriate authorities.
“Rather than do this, Mrs Grant put her interests before that of her patients and colleagues by denying that single use items were reused at the practices.”
It agreed that while her actions were a serious departure from the standards of conduct expected of a dental care professional, it noted that her actions related to cross-infection control are remedial and as a dental nurse she would have done what was instructed.
The committee imposed an immediate order of conditions on Grant’s registration as well as imposing conditions on her ability to practise for a period of 12 months.