The circumstances of this case relate to the Registrant, on 07 June 2018, being convicted at South East Northumberland Magistrates’ Court of driving a motor vehicle with excess alcohol on 19 May 2018. The Case Examiners considered evidence including information provided by the Registrant and confirmation of the conviction from the police.
The Case Examiners determined that there is a real prospect of the factual allegation being found proved by a Practice Committee, a real prospect of the statutory ground of conviction being established but no real prospect of a Practice Committee finding the Registrant’s fitness to practise to be currently impaired.
In the circumstances, therefore, the Case Examiners have determined to issue a warning to indicate to the Registrant that, whilst this matter has not been referred to a Practice Committee, her actions were a departure from expected standards, which warrants a formal response from the GDC.
The Case Examiners have taken into account their Case Examiner Guidance Manual (November 2016) regarding the criteria to be considered when minded to issue a warning, and also their Indicative Outcomes Guidance (February 2018) in relation to examples of types of cases for which it may be appropriate to issue a warning, including for a criminal conviction for an offence of this type.
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 12 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.
The Registrant is reminded that this warning will form part of her Fitness to Practise history, even after it is no longer published, and may need to be disclosed as required.
The Case Examiners warn the Registrant that:
- the commission of a criminal offence can have an adverse effect on the wider public interest, and this conduct should not be repeated. Any further criminal convictions will be viewed seriously and will likely call into question her fitness to practise.
- she should, as required by General Dental Council guidance, maintain appropriate standards of behaviour in her professional and personal lives.