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Dental Brief October 2014

BDIA Dental Show

Visit us at the BDIA dental showcase at Excel London on the 9-11 October 2014 Stand No. F04 - meet the team and get the chance to win an iPod Shuffle!

Ashraf v General Dental Council 

Dr Ashraf was removed from the register in October 2013 following a hearing before the GDC's Professional Conduct Committee. The issues which the Committee had considered included allegations that Dr Ashraf had made inappropriate and dishonest claims for payments of UDAs.

In particular, that he had claimed for providing treatments when he had not, in fact, carried out the treatments; that he had claimed for payment in a higher band than was justified; or that he had, unnecessarily, split a course of treatment into two claims.

It was also alleged that Dr Ashraf had been involved in attempts to deter witnesses from giving evidence against him.

Dr Ashraf appealed to the High Court against the decision on the grounds that, before his fitness to practise hearing had taken place, he had been prosecuted for fraud and theft; but had been acquitted on all counts.

He argued that it had been unfair for him to have to face disciplinary proceedings which related to substantially the same charges for which he had already been acquitted in the Criminal Court. 

The High Court gave its judgment on 29 July 2014. The Court held that a distinction should be drawn between the role of the criminal law and that of the regulators and that it would not be in the public interest for an "either/or" approach to be adopted. Dr Ashraf's appeal was dismissed.

DH Consultation on GDC Fitness to Practice 

The DH’s consultation on the GDC’s Fitness to Practice is now open. The consultation deadline is 21 November 2014.

Southern Dental For Sale

Following last year’s sale of Oasis Healthcare, Southern Dental is the latest of the growing list of dental chains which may be joining a private equity ownership.

Southern Dental owns 74 dental practices across the country with over 80% of the business coming from NHS treatments. It has been reported that private equity firms Capvest and Graphites are currently bidding to secure the deal for the company.

GDC Annual Fee Increased

Following an e-petition of over 10,000 signatures and the opposition lodged by the BDA in respect of the proposed 64% increase in the GDC annual fee from £576 to £945 per year (the first rise in four years) Ministers have finally stepped in with their comments.

They pointed to the Government’s position for professional registration fees set out in February 2011 which states:

“The Department would not expect registration fees to increase beyond their current levels, unless there is a clear and strong business case that any increase is essential to ensure the exercise of statutory duties.”

However they have also stated:

“The GDC is an independent body and, therefore, it is for the GDC to determine the level of the annual fee it charges for registration."

“The Department of Health does not usually contribute to such consultations." 

"The GDC’s consultation on the annual retention fee closed on 4th September."

Dental School Opens

The UK’s first dental school has opened its doors at Royal London Dental Hospital.

The Dental School will train 400 students in the new facilities which will focus on clinical functionality and innovative technology.

Improving dental health within the local community of Whitechapel and beyond is also central to its agenda.

Deals done

Over the last few months the Dental team have helped over 30 dental practitioners with their practice sales and purchases (both asset and share sales), incorporation, associate contract disputes, granting leases and rent review disputes as well as advise on CQC matters.