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Dentist who failed to spot cancer in patients struck off

1 October 2014

Dentist who failed to spot cancer in patients struck off

A dentist has been struck off by the General Dental Council (GDC) for ‘multiple failings’, including failing to spot mouth cancer in his patients.

As reported in Smile-on News, Professor Philip Lamey failed to diagnose a tumour that existed in a pre-cancerous form for 15 years. The patient, who had a dry and itchy mouth condition that turned into cancer, was diagnosed with smokers’ keratosis – despite not being a smoker.

Thirty five of Lamey’s patients at the School of Dentistry at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast developed cancer, four of whom died.

There were 46 initial heads of charge in this case, containing around 215 allegations; 110 of which were found proved.

Among the allegations were repeated failure to include malignancy in diagnoses; repeated failure to carry out biopsies; repeated failure to carry out adequate oral examinations; serious failings in record keeping; prescribing inappropriately; poor communication; and poor patient management.

The GDC’s Professional Conduct Committee 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 by fellow professionals. These failings involved many patients over a long period of time.”

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.”  

 

Pictured: Philip Lamey. Source: Belfast Telegraph

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