Northern Ireland

Philip Lamey: Former dental consultant is struck off register

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Media captionProf Lamey was removed from his job in 2011

A former consultant at Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital's School of Dentistry has been struck off the dental register and is under immediate suspension.

A disciplinary panel found Prof Philip Lamey guilty of more than 100 charges of malpractice.

Being struck off means he cannot practise for a minimum of five years.

Prof Lamey has 28 days to appeal the General Dental Council's (GDC) decision. Otherwise, he will no longer be able to work in dentistry.

He can apply to re-join the register after five years. However, that would involve another GDC hearing.

Prof Lamey was removed from his job in Belfast in 2011 after serious concerns were raised about his work.

'Poor care'

The GDC said there were 215 allegations of malpractice made against Prof Lamey, with 110 of found to be proved.

In 2011, 135 of Prof Lamey's patients had to be recalled after 35 developed cancer. Four of the patients subsequently died.

The GDC said the hearing was taken against Prof Lamey due to multiple allegations of "poor care, patient management and record keeping".

The hearing against him started in February 2013 and he was criticised by the panel for his treatment in a number of cases.

In one instance, he failed to spot the changes in a patient who for years had a dry mouth condition that developed into cancer, despite seeing her on six occasions.

In another, a 79-year-old woman's oral cancer was missed after Prof Lamey failed to send her for a biopsy.

The panel was also critical of him putting the mouth lesions of a patient down to trauma.

It said he should have ordered a biopsy and that it was fortunate the man was seen by other doctors.

'Deplorable'

In a statement addressed to Prof Lamey, the GDC's professional conduct committee said it was satisfied that there had been "widespread" and "serious" deficiencies in his practice.

It said: "In the case of Patient 3, this involved an untruthful entry in the patient's notes and an untruthful letter to the patient's GMP.

"The findings disclose a standard of practice which the committee is satisfied fell far short of what could reasonably be expected of any practitioner in the field of oral medicine and which would be regarded as deplorable in your fellow professionals.

"These failings involved many patients over a long period of time. The committee is satisfied that taken as a whole, the facts found proved by it constitute misconduct on your part."

It added: "The work you have done in the profession throughout your life and the very senior position you occupy in it are such as to engage directly the public interest in the disposition of this case.

"You clearly have talents which ought, if possible, to be at the disposal of the profession and the public, but you also knew what standards ought properly to have been upheld by you."

The practising dentist previously held a post teaching at Queen's University but lost an unfair dismissal case against the university in August.

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