Dentist failed to meet care standards

SURGERY: Dermot Bowles' Thurston Road practice
SURGERY: Dermot Bowles' Thurston Road practice
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A dentist who admitted more than 90 charges of providing sub-standard care to 12 of his patients has escaped suspension.

Instead Dermot Edgar Bowles, of the Thurston Road Practice in Leyland, had strict conditions placed on his registration for the next 12 months by the General Dental Council in order to remedy shortcomings in both treatment and record-keeping which were discovered over six years.

Bowles, also the founder of a long-standing practice in Burnley, conceded he had failed to meet the required standards on 92 occasions during 2008 and 2014.

The GDC’s professional performance committee heard the offences came to light after a complaint lodged by a patient. Investigations revealed concerns with the treatment and records of 11 others.

Bowles was told: “The committee has concluded that your practice in a number of basic and fundamental areas of dentistry fell short of the standards reasonably expected of a registered dentist and that those failings amount to deficient professional performance.

“Although there is no evidence of patient harm, the poor standard of your practice created the potential for patients to be put at risk.”

The patient, from Leyland, who made the initial complaint asked not to be identified. But her father said: “It’s an absolute disgrace he hasn’t been suspended.

“My daughter has had to spend thousands of pounds on corrective dental treatment.When she went to see him initially he said her teeth were fine and nothing needed doing. But eventually when she went to see a private dentist because she wasn’t happy, what he found was incredible

“Bowles admitted most of the offences put to him in the hearing, yet even though there were more than 90 of them they still decided he should be allowed to carry on working, although under strict supervision.”

In its judgement this week the GDC said its primary duty was to address the public interest, which included the protection of patients, the maintenance of public confidence in the dentistry profession and the upholding of proper standards of conduct and behaviour.

But the committee decided that the “shortcomings” in Bowles’ practice were capable of being remedied and a recurrence was “highly unlikely.”

It told him: “The committee appreciates the assistance that you have provided by co-operating fully with these proceedings, which is further suggestive of you taking responsibility for, and seeking to address, your clinical failings.”