A dentist who treated patients immediately after his return from Greece without self-isolating, has had an Interim Suspension imposed by the GDC.

It is reported that during the hearing on May 4 the General Dental Council (GDC) found the suspension was necessary so the ‘public is adequately protected’ and removed Mr Kontogiannis from the national performers list.

An initial Interim Orders Committee (IOC) heard that Dr Vasillis Kontogiannis has been left with only eight private patients after NHS England had previously suspended him from the NHS dental performers’ list for six months.

The IOC was told that NHS England staff who contacted his dental practice in January were informed by a member of practice staff that he was out of the country and would be returning on Sunday 17 January 2021. They informed NHS England that the dentist had 42 patients scheduled for appointments on Monday 18 January 2021. 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.

The Committee heard that the Senior Dental Adviser who attended felt that the appointment schedule operated by the dentist was not safe to allow for a protocol to operate which would ensure patient safety when arriving, waiting, in the surgery, appointment making and departing.

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”.’

Dr Kontogiannis did not participate in the remote hearing, but was represented. His representative submitted that the dentist “does accept sub-optimal practice and is taking steps to address this.”

“Referred to the fact that Mr Kontogiannis had brought in another dentist to assist with certain types of work. Whilst not working as an NHS dentist, Mr Kontogiannis is seeking to update practice protocols and gather evidence to demonstrate compliance.

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