Clinical Negligence & Catastrophic Injury Solicitors
York dentist and Fresh Dental Smiles face hygiene allegations
A YORK dentist is working under supervision while her professional body investigates “serious and wide-ranging concerns” about her and her practice.
The investigation followed a whistleblower making a series of claims about Dr Jenny Kabir of Fresh Smiles Dental Clinic, Rawcliffe, to the General Dental Council. (GDC)
The claims considered by the GDC included the use of rusted and blunt dentist drill bits called burs, poor disinfection and infection control procedures and that she told her staff not to give patients comprehensive treatment plans.
Allegations concerning serious breaches of infection control and health and safety included that staff had to use non-disposable cloths and diluted hypochlorite solution to disinfect; staff had to use catering gloves, rather than those appropriate for dental work and these were used for different patients; clinical waste was included with domestic waste, and that that clinical waste was not properly disposed of unless it was blood stained.
In a report, the GDC told Jenny Kabir, who is clinical director of the practice: “This was done with the intention of minimising the amount of clinical waste produced. The informant raised their concerns with you, you downplayed them, and accused the informant of trouble making, along with other members of the team.”
The GDC also received an allegation that Dr Kabir took over a dental extraction from another dental practitioner and, when that practitioner urged her not to use a high-speed drill, her alleged response was “using the high-speed tool increases patient’s immunity.”
Dr Kabir was also alleged to have said that surgical emphysema was not worth worrying about and that to get to her position she had to “take some risks.”
The GDC has yet to decide whether any of the claims reported to it are true.
Through a representative, Dr Kabir told a GDC committee the allegations made to the GDC “were taken out of context and were vindictive.”
Dr Kabir disputed the need for any restrictions on her but the GDC committee imposed a raft of restrictions on her including day-to-day supervision.
The committee told Dr Kabir: “These are serious and wide-ranging concerns which engage core aspects of dentistry, such as cross-infection control. In the committee’s judgment the concerns give rise to a real risk of harm to patient safety should you be allowed to continue practising without any interim restriction on your registration whilst the concerns are investigated.”
Separately, in an interim report following an inspection, health and care regulator, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), which is now considering enforcement action against Fresh Smiles, said: “We found this practice was not providing safe care in accordance with the relevant regulations.”
It has required the practice to carry out changes to some of its procedures. The CQC said: “We have told the provider to take action. We will be following up on our concerns to ensure they have been put right by the provider. We are considering enforcement action in relation to the regulatory breaches identified. We will report further when any enforcement action is concluded.”
Dr Kabir described the CQC as having “identified a couple of issues regarding infection control and equipment” and said that the practice was taking action about them.
The GDC Interim Orders Committee (IOC) first considered Ms Kabir’s case on 31 March 2022, when it determined that it was in the public interest to impose an interim conditions of practice order for 18 months. The order is due to expire on 4 October 2023.