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Dental surgery owner faces allegations of breaching professional standards

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: August 22, 2013

Dental surgery owner faces allegations of breaching professional standards

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THE owner of a dental practice in St Austell is to appear before the General Dental Council (GDC) this week to answer 15 allegations of breaching professional standards.

David Timothy Cooke, of the Dental Surgery in Truro Road, will appear before the Professional Conduct Committee facing charges relating to a period between October 2006 and March 2012 in which he was practising as a dentist as well as owning the surgery.

If the charges are proved, he could face a reprimand, suspension, enforced conditions or removal from the dental register.

The charges relate to infection control, maintenance of premises and equipment, compliance with Care Quality Commission rules, patient records and punctuality.

One alleges that on occasions between October 2006 and December 2011 Mr Cooke did not wash his hands and/or use antibacterial gel between treating patients.

Another charge asserts that over the same period he failed to train himself or staff adequately in infection control and prevention.

It is further alleged that during 2010, Mr Cooke failed to ensure that either he or his staff undertook appropriate training in relation to medical emergency procedures.

Other charges allege that, between 2008 and 2011, he took patient records home with him and failed to return them in a timely manner so they were not available when the patient attended.

A case study included in one of the charges alleges that on or about April 19, 2007, a patient reported that dental instruments Mr Cooke used while treating them appeared unclean and were placed on a doily, which also appeared dirty.

The hearing will start on Tuesday in the Central City Training Venues at Smithfield, London.

If the charges are found proven the panel of dental experts, accompanied by a legal adviser, will determine the sanction Mr Cooke will face, if any.

Contacted by the Cornish Guardian, Mr Cooke said: "I am unable to comment at this time, as this matter will shortly be considered at a hearing."

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