Dentist suspended for poor infection control

A dentist based in Dalton, Rotherham, faces being struck off after an inspection uncovered poor infection control practise and the reuse of single-use equipment, including syringes, files and impression trays.
Mohammed Siddiqui was immediately suspended from the NHS Rotherham dental performers list after former staff raised issues about his infection control standards in 2009, prompting NHS Rotherham and the Health and Safety Executive to conduct an unannounced inspection in May 2009. This means he is not allowed to practise NHS dentistry in Rotherham.
Andrew Hockton, for Rotherham PCT, said Siddiqui was cutting corners to save money. The PCT and the Health Protection Agency is probing whether patients caught viruses.
Mr Hockton said: ‘Dr Siddiqui showed a total lack of regard for patient or staff safety. The inspector said it was one of the worst examples she had ever seen. He desired to maximise profit in a manner which put patients at risk.’
Paul Spencer, defending, said his client had become unwell due to the pressure of work. ‘He accepts his practices from 2008-2009 where wholly unacceptable. He has a deep-seated desire to make the errors which affected patient safety a thing of the past.’
The GDC interim orders committee suspended Mr Siddiqui from June 2009. At the review in June 2010 the GDC lifted the suspension but imposed 17 conditions of practise until a further hearing could be convened early in 2011. Mr Siddiqui has been referred by the GDC to its professional conduct committee for full consideration of the case.
In the meantime, Mr Siddiqui appealed against his removal from the NHS Rotherham performers list which was heard on 30 July 2010 by the Family Health Services Appeals Unit (FHSAU). The panel is currently considering all the evidence with a view to a verdict in three weeks time.
Mr Siddiqui will remain suspended from practising NHS dentistry in Rotherham until a verdict is reached.
Dr Ken Wragg, NHS Rotherham consultant in dental public health said: ‘This has been a long and comprehensive investigation spanning many months. We understand that some of Mr Siddiqui’s patients will naturally be concerned about the poor infection control practice at his dental surgery. We can reassure patients that although there is a low potential risk to patients, our investigation has not found any evidence that any of Mr Siddiqui’s patients have been affected.
‘However, if former patients of Mr Siddiqui are concerned about their health they should seek advice from their GP.’

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