Northern Ireland

System let down dental patients NI Assembly told

The system let down patients recalled to the Royal's School of Dentistry in February, the health minister has said.

Edwin Poots apologised in the Assembly for what he described as the serious failings in the care they received.

In February, it emerged that in 2009 the Belfast Health Trust had launched a major review of 3,000 clinical records belonging to dentistry patients.

The trust said it was concerned about 22 people, four of them cancer patients who died, three from oral cancer.

'Serious deficiencies'

The recall followed a review of the work carried out by a consultant, Professor Lamey.

He is still employed by the trust, but no longer treats patients.

On Tuesday, Mr Poots announced the outcome of an inquiry into what happened, saying there had been serious deficiencies in the quality of care.

The inquiry found there were serious failings in both the care provided, communication and the timeliness and ultimately the effectiveness of the action taken.

A total of 45 recommendations were made.

The inquiry also found there were difficulties with excessive workloads and a lack of adequate administrative support.

Professor Lamey has said he believed he was the subject of unfair criticism and that in 2009 a General Medical Council investigation recommended that no action be taken against him.