Stroud Green dentist disciplined over ‘dirty’ surgery

A DENTIST who put patients at risk treating them in a dirty surgery with unsterilised equipment has been ordered to complete a 10-month “remedial training” course.

Inspectors found Kasturi Rao’s surgery in Stroud Green Road, Finsbury Park, was dangerously below standard.

She was eventually removed from the Haringey Primary Care Trust’s NHS list almost a year later after she lied about steps taken to meet a list of recommendations, the General Dental Council heard.

Panel chairman Nicholas Young told the dentist: “Your failings were wide-ranging, serious and placed patients, staff and yourself at risk.”

Rao was ordered not to return to work until she has completed the 10-month remedial training course at King’s College, and must also see a behavioural coach and try to improve her English.

Inspectors were sent in to the surgery in May 2009 in the wake of ongoing concerns, sparked by a patient complaint about the quality of root-canal treatment in 2007.

Inspectors found 12 failings ranging from infection control and clinical management to record keeping and administrative systems.

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Patricia Galloway, assistant director of practitioner performance for NHS Haringey and NHS Enfield, said: “The report identified that the practice premises were very unclean, in all of the observed consultations Ms Rao’s cross infection control procedures were poor and Ms Rao’s decontamination process for instruments fell below the required minimum standards.”

An action plan was drawn up but by September 2010 Rao had still not complied with it.

She claimed she had identified a mentor and enrolled on a two-day course with a behavioural coach.

But it later emerged the mentor had not agreed to work with her, and the Trust removed her from its list.

Ms Galloway said Ms Rao’s action plan was “shown to be inaccurate and, at worst, untrue” and her remaining proposals to fix her failings were “insufficient”.

Ms Rao admitted all 16 charges relating to “deficient professional performance” at the hearing.

The dentist told the panel she had begun a clinical course at King’s College London, has a mentor, a behavioural coach and is taking English tuition.