Dentist who sparked blood scare lax over infection, professional body says


A dentist whose surgery hygiene standards sparked a major health scare has had a string of malpractice allegations against him proven.

Desmond D'Mello prompted a mass blood screening of patients after a whistleblower exposed the poor levels of cleanliness at his practice.

More than 22,000 patients were recalled after he was secretly filmed breaching clinical standards at the Daybrook Dental Practice in Gedling, Nottinghamshire, over the course of three days in 2014.

A conduct hearing at the General Dental Council in London found scores of allegations against him included failing to change gloves between patients and failing to put on a new surgical mask for each patient.

All but one of more than 50 allegations against him was proved, the panel found. Mr D'Mello, who had been a dentist for nearly 38 years and began his own practice in 1980, still faces a final ruling from the committee.

The panel said in its findings of fact: "Mr D'Mello was under a duty to maintain adequate infection control for patients and staff.

"Mr D'Mello's actions...were a departure from this duty and, there, constituted a failure to maintain adequate infection controls."

Dental nurse Caroline Surgey admitted more than 20 allegations which happened when she was working alongside Mr D'Mello.

The 43-year-old mother-of-two told the hearing on Monday she had failed to adequately re-educate herself following a hiatus from the profession and was scared to challenge Mr D'Mello in case she lost her job.

An emotional Ms Surgey, who has since received the relevant training, said of her reaction when she re-watched the video of herself: "It was appalling.

"If I saw that person doing that I would be horrified, I was ashamed and I could see failures in all of it and if I saw that person I would think they were a really bad person."

She added: "I have let myself down, I have let my family down, I have let the profession down, I have let the patients down and I have the public down and it will never, never happen again."