NI dentist takes himself off register

A Northern Irish dentist has been removed from the General Dental Council’s register at his own request, with the regulator halting all investigations into his conduct.

Robert McMitchell, who owns practices across the province, was being looked at by the GDC after the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) raised concerns about the “standard of care, treatment and record-keeping” for 15 of his patients. The GDC subsequently imposed a series of restrictions on McMitchell’s registration saying that, without the conditions, “patients would be placed at a real risk of harm”.

Further concerns were raised by a professor of restorative dentistry about the standard of care and record-keeping for another nine of McMitchell’s patients and a separate complaint from another dentist was lodged in relation to a further four patients.

An expert appointed by the GDC to examine the case said the care provided to the four patients between 1994 and 2014 “fell significantly below the level of professional practice reasonably expected in a range of areas”.

Among the concerns raised by the GDC’s expert were poor diagnosis and treatment planning, poor communication and failings in relation to consent for treatment.

The Ulster Unionist Party has written to the Health Minister for clarification on the matter, saying it was concerning that a GDC investigation is halted when a dentist surrenders their licence.

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