The health of thousands of patients throughout the UK is at risk after a dentist failed to carry out basic hygiene requirements when providing treatment.
NHS England has announced it will do a ‘significant patient recall’ after the dentist was revealed to have breached infection control standards.
Dr Rosemary Gillespie, chief executive at Terrence Higgins Trust, has said there s a ‘next to no risk’ of HIV being passed on from dental equipment that has not been sterilised properly. This statement comes following outcry and panic regarding potential HIV risks when the news first broke out on the 12th of November.
She further assured the public by adding, ‘NHS England has confirmed that the dentist in this case does not have HIV. The suggested risk is likely to relate to dental equipment not being properly sterilised between appointments.
It is right that these patients have been recalled, but we would reassure anyone who has been contacted that there is next to no risk of HIV being passed on in this way.
HIV is a fragile virus, which becomes inactive minutes after leaving the body. For the virus to be passed on via dental equipment, it would have to be passed from one mouth to the next far more quickly than most appointments would allow.’
The dentist worked in the area of Nottinghamshire for over 32 years. Concerns have been raised regarding how he managed to continue working for so long without being caught for malpractice.