Dental nurse struck off over practice theft

A dental nurse who stole from the practice where she worked has been struck off by the General Dental Council (GDC).

Satpal Sehmi was cautioned for the theft from Malmin Dental Practice in Farringdon Road, central London, back in September 2010.

Ms Sehmi was not at the GDC hearing but it appeared she took a payment for treatment from a patient which comprised a cash payment of £280 and a credit card payment of £35.56.

She later used the patient’s credit card details, and forged his signature to credit the practice’s account with £280.

She retained the patient’s original £280 cash payment for her personal use.

The practice was obliged to refund the credit card payment to the patient and to bear the loss of £280.

The matter was reported to the police; Ms Sehmi was arrested and interviewed; she admitted the theft and received a formal police caution.

The Committee considered that: ‘Dishonesty, particularly when associated with professional practice is highly damaging to a registrant’s fitness to practise and to public confidence in dental professionals.

It also felt that ‘Ms Sehmi’s behaviour involved forgery of a patient’s signature… particular concern to the Committee.

‘Her behaviour breached fundamental tenets of practice in dentistry, which require dental professionals to put patients interests first and to be trustworthy.’

The Committee considered that Ms Sehmi’s dishonesty was difficult to remedy and her subsequent actions demonstrated a lack of remediation.

When the GDC began its investigation, Ms Sehmi initially denied having a police caution and denied ever working at the Malmin Dental Practice.

She even stated that there was a registrant by the name of Jasmine Sehmi, with whom she had probably been confused. It was not until almost a year later that she admitted that she had in fact been cautioned.

The Committee considered that Ms Sehmi’s attempts to conceal the caution were an aggravating feature in this case.

The Committee was satisfied that there was a real risk that Ms Sehmi would repeat this behaviour and that her fitness to practise is currently impaired.

The opted to suspend her name is suspended from the Register.

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