WELCOME TO CHARLES RUSSELL SPEECHLYS.
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There have been several cases involving dentists with a variety of interesting predicaments we have highlighted just a few.
The High Court ruled on whether the MPS was liable to indemnify Mr Whetstone against liability for negligent treatment carried out on patients by his associate (who did not have his own indemnity insurance). The patients were asked to claim against Mr Whetstone personally. The MPS refused to provide indemnity Mr Whetstone on the basis that it does not indemnify its members against vicarious liability for acts of other dentists.
The Court ruled in favour of MPS and Mr Whetstone lost his appeal.
The Court of Appeal upheld a decision in favour of the Board that it had not acted unreasonably in terminating its contract for provision of dental services with Mr Krebs.
This case concerned whether the Board’s termination notice remained in effect despite a letter from the Board to suspend the dentist’s termination until the dispute was resolved. The Court held that the letter merely postponed its determination, and the Board was entitled to serve a fresh notice to terminate the contract.
The Board had referred Mr Krebs to the National Clinical Assessment Service (NCAS). The court found that Mr Krebs was required to co-operate with NCAS even if he considered such request unreasonable. The court concluded that Mr Krebs was unable to show the Board had acted unreasonably and the Board was able to go ahead with the termination of his contact.
The Court of Appeal has upheld the GDC’s decision to erase Dr Al-Nahar from the dental register. Mr Justice Holman noted that there were not fewer than 66 charges relating to 14 different patients; 56 of those charges, which dealt with inadequate or inappropriate clinical treatments or inadequate record keeping, were found proved. There were also charges of dishonesty in 3 separate incidents. Dr Al-Nahar argued that because of his age, erasure from the register created a very real likelihood he would never return to practice, and that this would be disproportionate. The judge said “while I accept that the sanction of erasing old practitioners may have the effect that the person never practise again, that cannot in my view be a justification for not erasing the registrant if it is otherwise requisite to do so. Indeed, it might be said that the older the practitioner, and the more experienced he is, then the more grave it is that he has made errors and displayed the dishonesty found in this case”. Mr Justice Holman concluded that the GDC’s decision for erasure was justified and therefore the appeal was dismissed.
The parties had a dispute over a dental practice they ran in partnership. The claimant wanted the court to allow an expert to give evidence to show the basis of calculating expenses and to further amend his particulars of claim. The Court found that expert evidence was not reasonably required.
The Health Select Committee has held a hearing into the running of the GDC and raised a number of interesting questions. The BDA is calling for such hearings to take place on a more regular basis.
The Government has just responded to proposals from the Law Commission on the Regulation of Health Care Professionals. The Government has announced its intention to make new laws. Amongst other things:
If you have any queries regarding the above, please contact Jenin Khanam.