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Anthony Haycroft successfully defends a dentist before a Professional Conduct Committee of the General Dental Council

12th May 2021

Anthony Haycroft successfully defended a dentist before a Professional Conduct Committee of the General Dental Council. The case had started with a police investigation into alleged manslaughter after a Coroner’s Inquest. The case before the PCC lasted 7 days involving the extraction of 10 teeth in a single sitting in a patient with co-morbidities including anti-platelet medication which the dentist did not fully understand. No more than 3 teeth should have been extracted in a single sitting and as such no informed consent was given. The patient then suffered excess bleeding. The patient was returned to the surgery by his own GP and sockets packed. At no stage were sutures inserted and the patient returned home and died in the night.
The case was heavily expert dependent with diametrically opposed opinions and in the main the defence expert’s opinion was preferred. The case was very emotive given its outcome but the PCC accepted that they should not take into account the outcome. The PCC found proven those matters the dentist accepted plus one aspect where she accepted she could have done better in any event. The PCC found not proven many other allegations which had been based upon the GDC’s expert’s opinion. Ultimately the PCC acceded to the defence submissions that whilst there was misconduct in the case there was no impairment either on public protection grounds or public interest grounds. The case concluded with no action being taken at all upon the dentist’s registration.

Anthony Haycroft was instructed by Lee Biddle, of Berryman Lace Mawer, through Phil Shaw of Dental Protection and the defence expert was David Kramer.

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