Hearing for D’Mello dentist case cost more than £135,000 in total

Desmond D’Mello

The cost of the Desmond D’Mello case, a dentist who caused the biggest patient recall in NHS history, totalled more than £135,000.

After the Press Association submitted an FOI request, the General Dental Council (GDC) revealed that the case of the former Daybrook dentist cost almost £110,000 in external solicitors alone.

The rest of the money was spent on panellists for the hearing and legal advisers.

Mr D’Mello was struck off by GDC after 55 allegations of malpractice at Daybrook Dental Practice, Gedling were proven following a misconduct which concluded in August 2016.

He was secretly filmed not changing gloves between patients, failing to sterilise dental equipment properly and issuing antibiotics without checking for allergies.

As a result, 22,000 Nottinghamshire patients had to be recalled in November 2014 with 4,500 of those tested for blood-borne viruses and five found to have hepatitis C, which can cause chronic liver disease, although it cannot be known exactly how they contracted the virus.

Caroline Surgey, who was Mr D’Mello’s dental nurse, also admitted to 27 allegations.

She was allowed to continue to work as a dental nurse but had to accept conditions and be supervised.

The cases took nine days to complete in total.

There was a very strong public interest in holding the hearing

Director of fitness to practice at the GDC Jonathan Green said: “Given the severity of the allegations Desmond D’Mello faced about his poor infection control and clinical procedures, there was a very strong public interest in holding the hearing.

“An application for voluntary removal involves weighing up the interests of Mr D’Mello and the public.

“There was a risk that if Mr D’Mello removed himself from the register, he would be able to make an application to return to the register at any point in the future.

“In the circumstances, it was considered that the public interest took precedent so his application was refused and the hearing went ahead.”

Video: Cllr John Clarke on what he made of the outcome of the D’Mello case

A report of the case was submitted to the Joint City and County Health and Scrutiny Committee in December 2016 where the NHS said it was ‘unusual’ but ‘impossible to completely mitigate the risk’ of a similar case happening again.

Gedling Borough Council leader John Clarke said that he was ‘baffled’ by the decision to allow Ms Surgey to continue working when the report was presented.

He said: “It’s not personal as I don’t even know the nurse but what the reports says has occurred and what she turned a blind eye to was amazing.

“Anybody in a medical profession has a duty of care which should be honoured above all else.

“You can’t say that these cases will not ever happen again, I sincerely hope they don’t, but you can’t watch everything.”