A former Dentist has been fined thousands of pounds after pleading guilty to five charges of practising dentistry illegally. It is estimated that Eleni Kalamara treated 1502 patients – including 392 children – in total.
Ms Kalamara, from Manchester, pleaded guilty at North Cheshire Magistrates’ Court to five charges of carrying out dentistry illegally, following a prosecution by the General Dental Council (GDC). The offences were committed while she was working at My Dentist, in North Fearnhead, Warrington. Although Ms Kalamara faced five charges in court on 17th August, it is estimated that she treated 1502 patients illegally, including 392 children, without registration or valid insurance between April 2015 and January 2016.
When passing the sentence, the Chair said that they were “staggered” by the number of patients Ms Kalamara had treated whilst unregistered, and found it “unprofessional and unethical” that “she had dismissed her professional obligations”.
Ms Kalamara was not present at the hearing. She was fined £500 for each offence - £2500 in total -, ordered to pay a £50 victim surcharge and the GDC’s full costs of £2,218.82. A collection order was made for the total amount of £4,768.82, which has to be paid within a year.
Ms Kalamara was previously a registered Dentist. However, she was removed from the register of dental professionals in April 2015, because she did not meet the requirements of the Continued Professional Development scheme. Despite numerous notifications and warnings sent by the GDC, Ms Kalamara failed to update her CPD records with the Registrar. This is a requirement for all Dentists and Dental Care Professionals in the United Kingdom because it helps to keep dental professionals’ skills up to date.
Shaun Round, Interim Head of Illegal Practice at the General Dental Council, said: “The General Dental Council’s role is to protect patients and help to ensure the public has confidence in the services the dental profession provides and we do this by regulating the dental team. We also prosecute people who carry out dentistry illegally.
“Even though Ms Kalamara has previously trained, qualified and worked as a Dentist, she was removed from the register of dental professionals for not completing her Continued Professional Development – a statutory requirement for all dental professionals, which involves keeping your skills and knowledge up to date. Treating members of the public without demonstrating a commitment to the professional obligation to keep your knowledge and skills up to date - and also doing so without registration and insurance - puts them at an unacceptable level of risk.”
The practice of dentistry by unregistered dentists or dental care professionals is prohibited by Section 38 (1) and (2) of the Dentists Act 1984.
Ms Kalamara pleaded guilty to offences committed on 23 June, 22 July, 12 August, 15 September and 16 November 2015 at My Dentist, 86 Station Road, North Fearnhead, Warrington, WA2 0QG. These charges pertained to dental procedures of varying complexity that Ms Kalamara undertook on 5 separate patients, including minors.
It is important for dental professionals to have the correct indemnity insurance as it allows patients to seek compensation if they experience harm. It is one of the standards outlined in Standards of the Dental Team.
We were contacted by a represtentative of Ms Kalamara's former employers, My Dentist, who issued us the following statement:
mydentist spokesperson said: “During our annual checks we discovered Dr Eleni Kalamara’s GDC registration had lapsed because she had not registered her continuing professional development and we terminated her employment.
“The GDC usually communicates with an employer as well as a dentist when issues like this arise but Dr Kalamara gave incorrect employer information to the GDC so they were unable to inform us of this lapse.
“We have been assisting the regulator with their investigation and we are introducing monthly GDC registration checks across our practices.
“We’re very disappointed Dr Kalamara breached our trust and that of our patients and would like to reassure them we acted swiftly, properly and with their care in mind.”