An estimated 22,000 dental patients in England are being recalled for tests over fears that they could have been infected with blood-borne viruses including HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C, following apparent breaches of infection control procedures.
According to NHS England, the patients may have been put at risk after being treated by dentist Desmond D’Mello who did not follow proper procedures over a 32-year period at the former Daybrook Dental Practice, in Gedling, Nottinghamshire.
NHS England is working with Public Health England to investigate the issue, and make necessary arrangements for a patient recall.
In June, a whistleblower who was concerned about clinical standards being provided to patients secretly filmed D’Mello at work and produced the evidence to NHS England.
After reviewing the evidence, the Interim Orders Committee of the General Dental Council, which regulates dental professionals, suspended D’Mello for 18 months in August, while they undertake their own investigation into the concerns raised.
The former Daybrook Dental Practice is under new ownership by Southern Dental since August.
NHS England noted the investigation is ongoing and no findings have been made at this time in respect of D’Mello, who was recently tested by its occupational health team and found to be clear of blood borne viruses.
NHS England in Nottinghamshire medical director Dr Doug Black said: "Our investigation demonstrates acceptable infection control standards do not appear to have been followed by Mr D’Mello, whilst he was treating patients at the former Daybrook Dental Practice.
"Immediate actions were taken to protect current patients once these apparent lapses were identified.
"Therefore, as a precautionary measure, we are advising all patients who have seen Mr D’Mello to seek further advice on what action they may need to take."