Rotten: Dentist reused his old syringes

A SOUTH Yorkshire dentist put patients at risk of deadly infection by reusing syringes, not wearing gloves and using rusty tools and filthy rags.

Mohammed Siddiqui, aged 37, from High Green, faces being struck off after he flouted hygiene rules to "maximise profit" at his Rotherham practice.

A Primary Health Lists appeal tribunal heard he reused disposable equipment, including syringes, files and impression trays, had rusty tools and "actively discouraged" the use of gloves.

Sterilising equipment was "caked" in grime and mouth wash cups were next to the waste disposal system. Surfaces were thick with dust.

Inspectors found he had no blood spillage kit or policy, his decontamination area was "not fit for purpose" and had filthy rags and scrubbing brushes.

Andrew Hockton, for Rotherham PCT, said Siddiqui was cutting corners to save money. The PCT and the Health Protection Agency is probing whether patients caught viruses.

Mr Hockton said: "Dr Siddiqui showed a total lack of regard for patient or staff safety. The inspector said it was one of the worst examples she had ever seen.

"He desired to maximise profit in a manner which put patients at risk."

Mr Siddiqui, of Reaper Crescent, High Green, set up the business on Doncaster Road, Dalton, in 2002. He was shut down after an inspection in May last year.

Siddiqui had received a letter from the PCT in April saying his practice needed a "deep clean". He removed out-of-date stock before the inspection, failed to co-operate during it and later tried to create the impression his staff were to blame.

Mr Hockton said: "He showed a wilful disregard of the principles of good dental practice and he accepts serious professional misconduct. We say that the only appropriate action is removal."

Siddiqui was constantly in a rush because he was doing more than twice as much work as the average dentist.

Paul Spencer, defending, said his client had become unwell due to the pressure of work. He had placed five adverts for a dentist in the British Dental Journal but had failed to recruit.

"He accepts his practices from 2008-2009 where wholly unacceptable. He has a deep-seated desire to make the errors which affected patient safety a thing of the past."

Siddiqui had spent "tens of thousands" revamping his practice.

The tribunal could ban him from working for the NHS in Rotherham for five years before he can reapply. A decision is due within about two weeks.

A separate investigation by national body the General Dental Council is set to conclude next year.

Dr Ken Wragg, NHS Rotherham consultant in dental public health said: "We can reassure patients that although there is a low potential risk to patients, our investigation has not found any evidence that any of Mr Siddiqui's patients have been affected.

"If former patients are concerned about their health they should seek advice from their GP."

* A helpline for patients, 01709 302777, operates Monday to Friday 9am-5pm.

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