A Bradford dentist has been struck off by the General Dental Council for defrauding the NHS by making dishonest claims for the work he carried out on patients.
Mohammed Ashraf, who runs theGreat Horton Dental Practice, was also found to have interferred with witnesses by trying to dissuade two of his patients from giving evidence against him.
At a hearing in London which finished yesterday, the GDC’s Professional Conduct Committee found Ashraf had made “inappropriate and dishonest” claims while working at the practice from March 2006 to April 2009.
It also found that he had interfered with witnesses when in April 2009 he discussed with one of his patients what he had told NHS Counter Fraud Services investigators.
And that in June this year he “caused or permitted” attempts to be made to deter that patient and one other from giving evidence before the professional conduct hearing.
Announcing its decision to strike Ashraf off the dental register, the GDC panel stated: “It has considered the public interest and has determined that, in the light of the serious matters involved in this case, the lack of remediation and the lack of insight demonstrated by Mr Ashraf, a finding that his fitness to practise is currently impaired is necessary in order to declare standards and uphold public confidence in the profession.”
During the trial it was heard that Ashraf was arrested in January 2009 for allegations of fraud which were alleged to have occurred between 2006 and 2008 and cost the NHS about £10,000.
His contract with the NHS amounted to £357,403 a year, paid in monthly installments. In return, he had to carry out more than 14,000 “units of dental activity”, with more complicated treatments being awarded more units than a simple check-up, the court was told.
After he was acquitted, his solicitor Imran Younis said: “The jury’s verdicts in acquitting him of any wrongdoing are a vindication of his innocence.”
No-one at Great Horton Dental Practice could be contacted by the Telegraph & Argus last night for comment about the GDC’s decision.
Ashraf, 44, has been immediately suspended and unless he exercises his right of appeal, his name will be struck off the register in 28 days from yesterday’s decision.
The dentist was acquitted by a Bradford Crown Court jury last year when he stood trial accused of defrauding the NHS of £10,000.
It was alleged he had submitted claims to the NHS for treatments not carried out and had made claims for more complicated work than that done.