Sandesh Singh appeared on behalf of the General Dental Council before the Professional Conduct Committee (‘PCC’) in relation to a ‘ghost patient’ fraud case. The registrant was alleged to have fabricated the details of patients in order to claim for dental work that was never carried out. The case before the PCC followed a discontinued criminal prosecution by the NHS Counter Fraud Service/DWP and involved information provided by a whistleblower. In addition, the Defence advanced an argument at the start of the hearing that the PCC could apply the criminal standard of proof at the fact finding stage, contrary to the applicable Fitness to Practise Rules, due to the seriousness of the allegations and that consequences that would flow from an adverse finding. The argument was advanced essentially on the basis the legal article, ‘An Alternative Prescription’, which appeared in the New Law Journal in October 2011. Following 2 days of legal submissions the PCC rejected the Defence’s argument. Subsequently, impairment was found and the dentist’s name was erased from the register.
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