Dental Protection success in overturning an NHS list suspension

Dental Protection success in overturning an NHS list suspension

Dental Protection has succeeded in preventing NHS Dumfries & Galloway from continuing with an NHS list suspension of a member, with the Court of Session overturning a decision made by the Health Board. Suspensions from an NHS list can have a huge impact on a dentist’s reputation and can be career ending, as they can prevent a dentist from working for a prolonged period of time.

The Dental Protection member, Dr X, had been notified by the Health Board in November 2019 that they intended to proceed to a suspension hearing in relation to the raising of concerns. The Health Board then proceeded to suspend Dr X, despite robust legal arguments at the time. In order to suspend a dentist, a Health Board needs to comply with the relevant legislation and Dental Protection believed that the Health Board had failed to appropriately apply the legal test of necessity as well as failing to provide valid reasons for its decision, putting the Health Board in breach of their statutory duty on both counts.

Following careful consideration with Dr X, Dental Protection decided to challenge this decision in Court, given the significant impact that this decision would have on his career. The case therefore called before Lord Pentland in the Court of Session in Edinburgh on 18 December 2019 and the requested interim interdict, which lifts the suspension, was granted, with the Court awarding expenses in favour of Dental Protection. This decision was gratefully received by Dr X who can now continue to treat his NHS patients. 

Helen Kaney, Lead Dento-legal Consultant and Head of Dental Services, Scotland for Dental Protection said: “Being suspended from an NHS list can have a huge impact on a dentist. It is vital that such suspensions are only used when they are absolutely necessary and when the action taken by a Health Board complies with the relevant legislation.

“I am incredibly proud to have worked in this case along with my colleagues and the solicitors Dental Protection works with, Clyde & Co. I was delighted when the matter ended with the member’s NHS suspension being overturned. We are happy that our member can continue to treat NHS patitents at this stage.”

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