Shamed dentist awards himself A grades

A SHAMED dentist desperate to be re-instated into the profession awarded himself 15 'A' grades on an unmarked training course, a hearing was told.

Dave Gooderham

A SHAMED dentist desperate to be re-instated into the profession awarded himself 15 'A' grades on an unmarked training course, a hearing was told.

Disgraced Robert Hossack, 53, struck off after causing unnecessary suffering to patients, wrote 'A' grades on his self-assessment forms after they had been signed off by course tutors on numerous occasions in the last year.

During the first day of his hearing to decide whether he should be re-instated on the dental register, Mr Hossack claimed he was actually marking the course and not his performance.

A string of experienced lecturers told the General Dental Council (GDC) they would never grade students and that the courses in various dentistry skills were purely designed to educate.

Dominic Stewartson, a dental lecturer at the University of Birmingham, said: “The assessment form Mr Hossack asked me to sign after a course did contain some inaccuracies and I would never grade a course anyway.

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“Anyone attending would just get a certificate saying they had attended.”

The hearing also heard that Mr Hossack has “botched” a basic training procedure and then attempted to blame faulty equipment.

Daniel Earp, training advisor for the East of England Deanery, said: “My heart sunk when I saw Mr Hossack's attempts at a full gold crown, the work was inadequate and it would have been impossible to mark as what was demonstrated was disappointing.”

Mr Hossack, who had practiced in Clare and Witham, is fighting for his re-instatement from the GDC's professional conduct committee for the second time in little over a year.

Ian Stern, for the GDC, said concerns over his conduct stretch back to 1988 and that Mr Hossack was first hauled in front of the committee seven years ago and found guilty of serious professional misconduct, but a succession of postponements meant he was not officially struck off until 2004.

He was found to have carried out inadequate care to a number of patients including private patient Rosemary Seaborn. He charged her £4,535 just to replace a bridge, but instead of re-cementing the appliance cheaply Mr Hossack “excessively and unreasonably overcharged” the retired community psychiatric nurse for a new one.

Another dentist later found that the bridge was of poor standard and needed replacing. Mrs Seaborn also had a crown removed by another dentist who found cotton wool debris under the fitting.

Mr Hossack was taken off the register after the professional conduct committee found him guilty of causing at least two patients unnecessary pain and discomfort.

His previous bid to get re-instated onto the dental register failed in January 2007 after the GDC found he still had “serious shortcomings” as a dentist.

The hearing heard that Mr Hossack, who lives in Stoke by Clare, had spent the last year attending numerous classes and had adopted a private tutor who works for BUPA.

Mr Hossack accepted that he would never find work in an NHS practice again, but said he hoped to work privately on a part-time basis at first.

His tutor, Dr Brian Franks, clinical director of dentistry for BUPA, told the hearing he would have no problem with Mr Hossack treating his own family.

The hearing is set to be finished today.

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