The Case Examiners considered allegations that the Registrant’s fitness to practise was impaired by reason of misconduct. The allegations in the case relate to providing contradicting information regarding a patient’s specialist treatment without seeking advice from a suitably qualified colleague, this behaviour being allegedly misleading and not in the best interests of the patient, failing to discuss concerns with the specialists who were involved in the patient’s care and failing to maintain an adequate standard of record keeping.
The Case Examiners found a real prospect of all of the factual allegations being found proved, a real prospect of a Practice Committee finding these facts would amount to misconduct, but no real prospect of a Practice Committee finding the Registrant to be currently impaired.
In the circumstances, therefore, the Case Examiners determined to issue a warning to indicate to the Registrant that, whilst this matter has not been referred to a Practice Committee, his behaviour was an unacceptable departure from the General Dental Council’s Standards.
The Case Examiners have considered their Case Examiner Guidance Manual regarding the criteria to be considered when issuing a warning, and also their Indicative Outcomes Guidance in relation to examples of types of cases for which it may be appropriate to issue a warning. Based on the guidance, the Case Examiners consider that a warning in this case is necessary to declare and uphold proper standards of behaviour and conduct. Further, the Case Examiners consider that publication of the warning for a period of 18 months is appropriate and proportionate in the circumstances, and will ensure that a message is sent to the Registrant and to the wider profession regarding the importance of maintaining appropriate standards of behaviour.
The Registrant is reminded that they may need to disclose the warning in future where required and that it will form part of their fitness to practise history even after it is no longer published.
The Case Examiners formally warn the Registrant that:
• Failure to maintain accurate and detailed records can impact upon ongoing patient care. Clinical records must be sufficiently detailed so as to allow future audit or review, to understand any and all clinical considerations, justifications and potential diagnostic conclusions reached, as well as the actions carried out by the registrant and the information discussed with the patient
• Failure to discuss any concerns and/or disagreement over a treatment plan, or specialist advice for a patient, can impact upon patient care and their ongoing treatment. Professional discussions should be held so that views can be shared, and consistent clinical advice given to patients. Care must be taken to ensure that any advice given is clear, accurate, not misleading, and in the best interests of the patient.