Portsmouth dentist suspended for 18 months after breaching Covid rules

A CITY dentist has been suspended from his practice after failing to adhere to Covid-19 rules - including returning from abroad without self-isolating.

Monday, 10th May 2021, 5:30 pm
Updated Tuesday, 11th May 2021, 4:28 pm
Dolphin Orthodontics, High St, Cosham, where a dentist has been suspended for failing to comply with Covid-19 regulations Picture: Chris Moorhouse (jpns 100521-01)

Dr Vassilis Kontogiannis who runs Dolphin Orthodontics in High Street, Cosham, has been barred from working for the next 18 months following a hearing with the General Dental Council.

During the hearing on May 4 the regulatory body found the suspension was necessary so the 'public is adequately protected' and removed Mr Kontogiannis from the national performers list.

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The council detailed how Mr Kontogiannis returned from Greece in July 2020 but did not self-isolate and treated patients on his immediate return.

According to a report from the hearing patients were booked into the practice in 10-minute intervals - not allowing time to decontaminate the room after each appointment.

And the autoclave - a sterilising machine - ‘was only used twice raising concerns about cross infection control.’

The report added: ‘Regularly being late for work resulting in patients queuing outside the practice onto the High Street due to the need for social distancing and during absence from practice you did not arrange any orthodontic cover with emergencies referred to a “general dental practitioner down the road”.’

NHS England suspended Mr Kontogiannis from the national performers list in January 2021 as a temporary measure before the situation was escalated to the council.

Following this NHS England was informed Mr Kontogiannis was out of the country but that he had 42 patients scheduled for appointments on January 18, 2021.

The report said: ‘As you were travelling from Greece, this raised concerns that you were not planning to self-isolate, as was legally required.’

The council also took into account 35 historical complaints and performance concerns, all of which were said to relate to 'the registrant’s behaviour and attitude towards the patients and their parents.’

However, Lee Gledhill - a barrister speaking on behalf of Mr Kontogiannis - said: ‘Mr Kontogiannis experienced a bereavement, whereby his dental practice manager unexpectedly died, which has impacted on him considerably.

‘He apologises to his patients for any inconvenience caused in the meantime by his being away from the practice. Patients in need of urgent care are advised to call NHS 111.’

Within the report it also stated 'Mr Kontogiannis is concerned about the authenticity of a number of concerns that have been raised against him.

‘Mr Gledhill submitted that Mr Kontogiannis does accept sub-optimal practice and is taking steps to address this.’

The suspension will be reviewed by the council within six months.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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