Published: January 22, 2014
Dentist Susan Edworthy branded 'a risk to patients' by watchdog

A dentist near Burnham-On-Sea has been branded a "risk to patients" after she used out of date fillings and let her pet cats roam the surgery.

NHS bosses and health watchdogs found Susan Edworthy, 58, fell "seriously below the standard of a reasonable dentist" during unannounced visits to her surgery.

Inspectors found she used out-of-date filling materials and limited nurses to just one spray of disinfectant between patients.

A report of a professional conduct committee hearing by the General Dental Council said: "You failed to maintain appropriate levels of infection control and hygiene at the practice in that at various times you did not take adequate steps to prevent your cats from entering the practice."

"You did not ensure that three in one aspirator tips were adequately decontaminated, you did not remove your gloves when touching items outside the sterile area."

It added: "In the committee's judgement there is a risk of you not maintaining the appropriate levels of infection control and hygiene in your practice and therefore you continue to pose a risk to patients."

The findings come after NHS Somerset and the Care Quality Commission visited Lympsham Dental Practice, in Lympsham, Somerset, between January 2009 to September 2012.

The inquiry's report said improvements have been made.

The committee last week imposed 11 conditions on the dentist, demanding she create a personal development plan and carry out hygiene audits.

Susan Edworthy, who is trying to sell the practice, said: "I have fully co-operated with the General Dental Council and I have taken all the necessary steps to ensure that I can provide my patients with the best possible dental care."

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