Dental patients in Paisley and Dumfries deserve better protection and compensation
Patrick McGuire from Thompsons has highlighted growing concerns after a dentist based in Paisley was struck off for lying about his HIV status. The case has led to thousands of people in the town having to undergo blood tests. Many who have undergone the blood test will be able to claim compensation for having been put through the ordeal.
Dentist Harry Robertson who worked at the Kelburne Dental Surgery in the town lied to Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board about having the virus in order to keep his job. He also concealed the fact he was a dentist from the health professionals who were treating his HIV. Due to this deception he has been struck off by the General Dental Council for "dishonest conduct.”
After Mr Robertson’s HIV status became known NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde contacted his patients who he’d treated between January 2004 and March 2013. The letter said they had to come in for a HIV test. More than 10,000 patients were tested but amazingly almost 500 people have not been traced.
Mr Robertson also worked at Nithbank Hospital in Dumfries providing weekend dental cover. Hundreds of people there have also been forced to undergo tests.
Mr McGuire is currently representing over 500 people caught up in a similar dental HIV scare in Drongan, Ayrshire. Patients there have also been forced to take a blood test and for many it’s been a very traumatic experience. Mr McGuire said he was shocked at events in Paisley and Dumfries. He said “Having a blood test is stressful at the best of times but having to undergo tests for HIV is for many a very upsetting experience. Many of the people I currently represent who were involved in the HIV scare in Ayrshire have young children who also had to be tested. For them it its been extremely distressing so its only right that they are compensated for having been put through this. My team of lawyers specialise in these types of dental claims and we’re very confident of securing large levels of settlement for our clients”
“In my experience most people want to know how something like this could have happened and its clear the health board have some very serious questions to answer about how this dentist could have concealed his HIV status for so long. People need to know that the best checks are in place. I also think it’s shocking that over 500 people treated by Mr Robertson have still not been traced. Many of my clients in Ayrshire were also missed by the health board but contacted me when they heard what was happening. I think it’s extremely important that more is done to publicise what has happened with Mr Robertson so that anyone who was treated by him but has been missed by the health board does now come forward.”