Former Consultant Taken Off Dental Register

6th October 2014

An ex-consultant of the Royal Victoria Hospital’s School of Dentistry in Belfast has been removed from the dental register following immediate suspension. Philip Lamey has been found guilty of over 100 cases of malpractice. His removal from the register means that he will be unable to practice dentistry for at least five years.

In 2011, he was removed from his position in Belfast after serious concerns about his work were brought to light. 135 of his patients were recalled after 35 of them developed oral cancer. Of these, 4 people died subsequently. 215 allegations of malpractice were made against Prof Laney, and of those, 110 were found to be proved. The General Dental Council (GDC) have stated that the multiple allegations of poor patient management, record keeping and patient care lead to the hearing, which begin in February last year.
In one instance, Prof Lamey failed to detect changes in a patient who had suffered with a dry mouth condition for a number of years. Despite seeing her on 6 occasions, he did not spot signs that the condition had developed into cancer. In another case, he failed to send a 79-year-old woman for a biopsy, therefore neglecting to discover that she had oral cancer.

The GDC panel were also critical of Prof Lamey’s assumption that a patient’s severe mouth lesions were a symptom of trauma. They stated that he [the patient] should have been sent for a biopsy and it was lucky he saw other professionals for a second opinion.

The GDC’s professional conduct committee released a statement addressed to Prof Lamey, stating that they were sure that the widespread deficiencies in his practice were serious. They said that the findings reveal a standard of practice that falls way below what should reasonably be expected by a practitioner in the oral medication field, and which would be regarded as highly unacceptable by his fellow professionals. The GDC went on to say that the failings involved a lot of patients over a large time period. They have decided as a whole that the facts proved by the findings constitute great misconduct on Prof Lamey’s part. Prof Lamey has been given 28 days to appeal to the decision made by the General Dental Council before it is decided that he may no longer work in dentistry. He formerly held a post as a teacher at Queen’s University, but lost a case of unfair dismissal against them in August this year.