Former university consultant wins appeal against erasure

High Court in Belfast substitutes six-month suspension for dentist struck off over allegations about treatment

The High Court of Justice in Northern Ireland has quashed the General Dental Council’s decision to remove a consultant in oral medicine from the register of dentists.

Professor Philip-John Lamey was working at the Queen’s University Belffast (QUB) School of Dentistry, The Royal Victoria Hospital, in Belfast, when allegations were made relating to the treatment of 27 patients between 2006 and 2010.

There were 46 initial heads of charge in this case, containing 215 allegations – 110 of which were found proved.

On 30 September 2014, the GDC’s Professional Conduct Committee made the decision to erase and suspend Prof Lamey, to which he immediately appealed. On 27 March, the High Court overturned that decision and substituted the order with an order of suspension for a period of six months with a review.

In a statement, the GDC said: “Professor Lamey’s appeal alleged that the PCC made errors in parts, but not all, of their decision. The GDC accepts that the PCC did make some errors in their decision and the court (with the GDC’s agreement) has ordered that the PCC’s decision that Professor Lamey be erased from the Dentists Register should be substituted with a six- month suspension order.”

The original GDC decision came about after 135 of Prof Lamey’s patients had to be recalled after 35 developed cancer and four subsequently died. He was removed from his job in 2011 and, in August last year, he lost his case for unfair dismissal against QUB.

He had claimed that he wasn’t given adequate notice of dismissal as well as claiming for two and a half months’ salary and damages. The tribunal ruled unanimously that QUB had followed the contract properly and dismissed the case.