East Lancashire dentist investigated for unsafe clinical practice
CLAYTON-LE-MOORS, UK: The Interim Orders Committee (IOC) of the General Dental Council (GDC) has imposed interim conditions on the practice registration of East Lancashire dentist Dr Waqar Mohammed. The IOC heard submissions relating to Mohammed’s provision of clinical care, which included allegations relating to the treatment of 27 patients over a four-year period.
The case was referred to the IOC after concerns were raised with the GDC in early February relating to Mohammed’s provision of care as practice principal at Clayton Dental Care, located in Clayton-le-Moors. The complaint against Mohammed relates to dental care provided to 27 patients during the period 2016–2020 and to concerns relating to the fraudulent writing and signing of NHS prescriptions.
According to public documents, the IOC summarised at the 2 March hearing: “The concerns are extensive and widespread and include failure to carry out radiographic screening and periodontal monitoring, failure to obtain valid consent, failure to carry out sufficient treatment planning, failure to diagnose the source of pain, poor patient management overall resulting in extractions and possible loss of further teeth, failure to diagnose caries, and provision of antibiotics without clinical justification.”
A solicitor representing the GDC submitted that an interim order was necessary to protect the public, stating that documentation presented to the committee showed that dental care provided by Mohammed posed a risk of harm to the public.
“[He has a] significant number of patients depending on him to provide dental treatment which has been delayed due to the pandemic”
– solicitor McDonagh in defence of
Dr Waqar Mohammed
Mohammed’s defence submitted that an order was not necessary because the complaints lacked detail, particularly those relating to fraudulent NHS prescriptions, and owing to the fact that Mohammed had successfully qualified as a dentist and run two dental clinics.
“He works in two single-handed practices, with a significant number of patients depending on him to provide dental treatment which has been delayed due to the pandemic,” Mohammed’s solicitor, Mr McDonagh, told the committee, as reported by the Lancashire Telegraph. “If the committee were minded to impose an order, a lighter form of conditions requiring minimal supervision would be proportionate as he works alone,” his defence said.
Mohammed works as a dentist at a second dental practice—also located in East Lancashire—which was not named in the proceedings. Mohammed’s defence also submitted that the clinical concerns were raised by a previous associate of the defendant and lodged with the GDC after the breakdown of their relationship and his departure from the practice.
The committee found that details relating to the allegations of fraudulent prescriptions were insufficient, but that the material supplied in relation to clinical care were detailed and specific. “The committee is satisfied that on the information before it that an order is required for the protection of the public. The clinical concerns relate to 27 patients. The investigation is in its early stages. The committee considers that the issues are serious enough to require the imposition of an interim order so that the public is adequately protected,” the committee said.
Making its determination based on balancing public interest with that of the defendant, the committee found that interim conditions placed on Mohammed’s registration would be sufficient and proportionate. “You are working alone in a single-handed practice, and there have been no patient complaints,” the committee pointed out.
A list of 15 conditions will appear against Mohammed’s name in the GDC Dentists Register for a period of 18 months. These include the following:
- He must inform the GDC within seven days of any complaints made against him from the date these conditions take effect;
- He must inform the GDC within seven days of any application for dental employment outside the UK; and
- He must provide the GDC with a report from his workplace supervisor every two months and at least 21 days prior to any review.
“I always strive to provide the very best care for my patients. I am disappointed with the interim conditions set out, however I continue to cooperate fully with the investigation,” the Lancashire Telegraph quoted Mohammed as saying.
A PDF of the hearing documentation can be accessed here.