In the Family Health Service Appeals Authority (FHSSA)
Application for national disqualification – Mr E Jackson (Dentist)
Mr E Jackson
Oral hearing, Harrogate, 13th August, 2003. File Reference: 10482
Panel: Mr T Jones (Chairman)
Mr R B Davies (Professional Member)
Mr R Rhodes (Lay Member)
Mr E. Jackson, the Respondent, shall be disqualified from the inclusion in any list of dental practitioners providing personal dental services as described or referred to in Section 49N (1) of the National Health Services Act, 1977, pursuant to the powers of the FHSAA under subsections (3) and (4) of Section 49N of that Act.
A copy of this decision shall be sent to the several bodies listed in rule 47 (1) of the Family Health Services Appeals Authority (Procedure) Rules, 2001.
Notes on Decision and Reasons:
The Applicant removed the Respondent from its area General Dental Service List effectively from 19th February, 2003. There was no appeal against this decision by the Respondent.
On the 24th February, 2003, the Applicant wrote to the FHSAA requesting a decision that the Respondent be nationally disqualified.
A hearing was convened at Harrogate on the 3rd June, 2003. The Applicant sent a Representative; the Respondent did not attend. In order that the issues the Applicant raised with the Panel, any other issues outside those already dealt with in the criminal proceedings or disclosed to the Respondent it was in the interests of justice to adjourn. Further, in order that documents the Applicant wished to rely upon could be served on the Respondent, the matter was adjourned with directions given. This was to ensure the Respondent would be in no doubt as to the matters to be put before us and have ample opportunity of responding thereto.
The Applicant’s Case:
The Applicant considers the Respondent’s conduct as described in the sentencing remarks of His Honour Judge Robertshaw’s, sitting at Sheffield Crown Court on 20th November 2002, amply demonstrates that his continued inclusion in national lists would be prejudicial to the efficiency of the national health service. A copy of the sentencing remarks has been served and therein it is recorded. …“ You stand disgraced now, having let your profession down. Undoubtedly you face utter ruin, but, of course, those are circumstances which do not mean it is inappropriate for the Court to mark, by an appropriate sentence of punishment, the seriousness of the matter of which you now stand convicted by the Jury’s verdict: five different patients – that is half the number of patients who gave evidence in the course of your trial – dishonest claims for sedation work that plainly was not done, and dishonest claims for extractions of special difficulty, which were neither done nor, indeed, required.
The sum involved in theses offences of fraud, in money terms, is quite simply paltry (about £150), but the breach of trust involved – in a system of remuneration based on trust – is one which, in my judgement, is enormous.
I take into account the consequences both to you and indeed to your family of what has happened in this Court today. But a signal has to be given, it seems to me, not only to the dental profession, but to all professional men and women that, if you enjoy the privileges of professional status and the respect of your fellow citizens that goes along with that status, if you fall from grace, if you commit mean, paltry offences of dishonesty in the course of professional responsibilities, then immediate imprisonment will follow.
…..That sentence will be one of three months imprisonment.”
The Applicant also filed a report from the NHS Counter Fraud Service dated 10th December, 2002. The Applicant did not attend the final hearing giving prior notice of this intention to the FHSAA.
The Respondent’s case:
The Respondent did not attend. He sent one letter of the 18th July, 2003, to the Applicant acknowledging receipt of the Applicant’s bundle, making it clear he had no interest in being kept on any NHS list and that he would not be attending the forthcoming hearing.
Reasons for our decision:
Our starting point was that National Disqualification is a serious measure likely to adversely affect the career of the dental professional, and therefore should only be imposed in a serious case. The Counter Fraud service report does not assist us, its assertions have not been proved beyond reasonable doubt. Indeed some of the counts proceeded with were not proved before the Jury. The report assists only as to why the Respondent’s claims were examined.
The facts have been put before us and the Respondent. We note that the facts called for explanation or response from him. He has been given every opportunity to do such. He has advised the Applicant that he was aware of the application and has chosen not to attend.
The Applicant has filed and served documentation in relation to the Judge’s sentencing remarks which show this to be a serious case. We are satisfied therefore, that the Respondent’s continued inclusion in the list would be prejudicial to the efficiency of the services to be offered to the public using the national health service.
The order sought by the Applicant shall be made in the terms recited above.
Finally, in accordance with Rule 42(5) of the Rules, we hereby notify the Respondent that he may have rights relating to appeals under Section 11 of the Tribunal and Enquiries Act 1992.
Mr T Jones………………………..
Mr R Rhodes
Harrogate, 13th August, 2003.