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Tuesday, 02 September 2014

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Barrow dental worker suspended after ‘a big mistake’

A “BIG mistake” led to a Barrow dental technician being suspended after 50 years in the job.

Christiaan Schoombee was suspended for six months at a hearing of the General Dental Council’s Professional Conduct Committee in London on March 6.

Mr Schoombee, who worked at Z&J Dental Lab in Cheltenham Street, Barrow, had been charged with acting outside his scope of practice as a dental technician.

The PCC claimed at some point in 2010/11 he took impressions of a patient’s mouth, provided and fitted dentures without a prescription from a dentist and performed post-fit adjustments. He was also charged with failing to keep full and proper laboratory records.

Mr Schoombee, 69, admitted the charges and told the Evening Mail he was “finished” with dentistry.

He said: “There’s nothing more I can say, it is over. I have retired and I’m going.”

Mr Schoombee, originally from Pretoria in South Africa, said he was planning to go back to his home country and see his sons in Cape Town.

He said: “I made a mistake; a big mistake which I regretted.

“I have been in this game for 50 years and it is sad for it to end like this, but you never know which way it’s going to go.”

The PCC said the charges had come to their attention after a letter from Paul Crooks, a clinical dental technician, in January 2013.

The PCC said at the hearing: “The committee considers your decision to go beyond your scope of practice, which you have admitted was deliberate, represents a serious departure from the standards expected of a DT.

“Ignoring the scope of practice is not in the best interests of the public, it places patients at risk and may involve the delivery of treatment which is outside your level of competence.”

The PCC said it accepted the charges related to a single case and Mr Schoombee had admitted his offences from the outset.

However, it said: “Nevertheless going outside your scope of practice in the way that you did is clearly serious and unacceptable, and the committee determined that it constituted misconduct.”

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