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3,000 dental patients being contacted after dentist re-uses equipment on them

Posted in: Medical Negligence 

A total of 3,000 dental patients are being contacted following concerns over a Cardiff dentist’s infection control procedures. Mark Roberts, who worked at Splott Road Dental Surgery from 1989 to February 2015, was found by a whistleblower to be re-using equipment between patients. The dentist admitted that he had re-used syringe cartridges and root canal surgery files, and said that he deeply regretted his care ‘lapses’. Health bosses are now contacting all 3,000 of his former patients.

Cardiff and the Vales University Health Board and Public Health Wales have opened advice lines for people with infection concerns. Where bosses have assured patients that there is only a very small chance of infection transfer, blood tests are being made available to those that are high risk or feel that they need reassurance.

Letters sent to 3,245 patients

It was claimed that Mr Roberts failed to manage his infection control appropriately in two ways: he re-used local anaesthetic syringe cartridges, (which should have been thrown away after a single use) and re-used endodontic files, which were used for root canal surgery. These should also have been disposed of immediately after use.

It was confirmed by the General Dental Council that Mr Roberts was suspended in April for a total of 18 months, however this has been extended until October 2016 due to “concerns about his cross-infection controls”.

Executive nurse director at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, Ruth Walker, said that a total of 3,245 letters have been sent out to patients that could potentially have been affected by Mr Roberts’s failings.

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