MacCormaic struck off by GDC

Dentist struck off UK dental register for fraudulently claiming more than £30,000 in grants from Primary Care Trust

An Irish dentist practising in England has been struck off by the General Dental Council (GDC) for a range of offences including falsifying invoices and dumping patient records.

Eoin Charles MacCormaic, who qualified from Dublin Dental School in 1996, was the owner and principal at the Longford Dental Centre with four premises in Gillingham, Maidstone and Strood in Kent, and Chadwell Heath in London.

He appeared before the GDC’s Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) recently to face four allegations, three of which were proved. The first allegation detailed how MacCormaic made an application for grant monies to build two new surgeries at his Maidstone practice. The local Primary Care Trust (PCT) paid out a grant of £36,566 upon receipt of three invoices, which the PCC found had been either created or altered by MacCormaic himself. Two of the invoices were in the name of non-existent companies and MacCormaic was found to have cashed both cheques himself without receiving any of the goods and services detailed on the invoices, or having paid any contractors.

The second allegation relates to the dumping of the records of more than 400 current and former patients from the Maidstone practice in a recycling centre at the Lidl supermarket in the town. Records relating to 400 patients were retrieved by the PCT and retained. However, there were numerous records that were inaccessible and that were subsequently destroyed by the recycling company.

The final proven charge related to a series of inappropriate claims for treatment, which the committee found were “unprofessional and misleading to the PCT and intended to mislead”. MacCormaic had claimed that his inappropriate claims arose from prompts on his comp-uter and his misunderstanding of the relevant regulations.

The PCC found that there had been a large number of instances of serious misconduct over a three year period and that MacCormaic had “shown no insight and there has been no change in his behaviour” since a previous PCC determination in 2006 that related to more inappropriate claims to the Dental Practice Board.

In its determination the committee found that: “Mr MacCormaic has not made any apology and has provided no evidence that he has taken responsibility for what has occurred. In all the circumstances the committee was satisfied that Mr MacCormaic is currently impaired by reason of his misconduct.

“Given the gravity of its findings, the committee has determined that it is necessary, for the protection of the public and in the public interest, to immediately suspend Mr MacCormaic’s name from the Dentists Register.”

Harassment Conviction Leads to erasure

A dentist from Belfast, convicted of harassing his ex-girlfriend and ignoring a series of court orders to stay away from her, has been struck off by the General Dental Council (GDC).

Alan Cecil Beck of Old Mill Park in Dundonald was sentenced to three months imprisonment, suspended for two years at Ards Magistrates’ Court in November 2009. The GDC’s Professional Conduct Committee (PCC), which had placed an interim suspension on his registration while the case was heard, recently moved to remove him from the Dentists Register.

The committee found that Beck’s conviction featured “aggravating features” including displaying a complete disregard to the victim’s privacy and feelings, ignoring police warnings and court orders and denying offences when questioned by police.

In its determination the committee stated that: “Your repeated conduct was very serious. The public needs to have confidence that it can trust dentists to maintain and demonstrate appropriate standards of behaviour. Your behaviour has damaged the reputation of the profession.

“The committee determined that it would be insufficient to suspend your registration. It is necessary to remove your name from the Dentists Register in order to uphold standards and maintain the reputation of the profession.”

Published: 11 January, 2011 at 11:32