A dentist has been struck off by the General Dental Council (GDC) following a public hearing into claims of dishonest behaviour.
The allegations against Anjela Devi Chetty were heard by the GDC’s Professional Conduct Committee.
The charges she faced were:
• Making claims to the National Health Service against her annual allocation of units of dental activity by way of separate courses of treatment when the treatment provided constituted components of single courses of treatment;
• Prescribing treatments under private contract to National Health Service patients when she had not informed the patients that the treatment was available to them under the auspices of the National Health Service;
• The conduct described at each of paragraphs 2 and 3 above was dishonest, alternatively, inappropriate.
The Committee found that Mrs Chetty had been dishonest.
In making its decision it noted that: 'The dishonesty was systematic and sustained over a long period of time. In splitting courses of treatment and making claims on the individual components, which you were not entitled to do, you defrauded the NHS of a substantial amount of money. The Committee heard that you ultimately over-claimed a total of £99,000. Further, in prescribing your NHS patients private treatment without their informed consent, you put your own financial interests before the interests and wellbeing of your patients.'
In addition the Committee noted: 'You have repaid in full the money you over-claimed from the NHS. However, it remained concerned about your apparent lack of insight into your wrongdoing. While you did accept that the underlying principle of splitting courses of treatment was inappropriate, you did not accept at any stage that it was dishonest. In evidence to the Committee you sought to excuse your behaviour with explanations it considered to be implausible for a dentist of your experience. Furthermore, the Committee was particularly concerned that you did not accept at the outset that the mixing of NHS and private treatment without patients’ informed consent was, at the very least, inappropriate.'
Unless Mrs Chetty, who was immediately suspended, exercises her right of appeal, her name will be struck off the register in 28 days’ time.
More details can be found on the GDC’s website.