Patients contacted over infection concerns at Aberdeen dental practice

ALMOST 1000 patients at a dental practice in Aberdeen have been contacted by NHS Grampian because of concerns about infection control procedures at a city based dental practice.

The health board said patients at the Bridge of Don Dental Clinic and Research Centre in Silverburn Crescent, Bridge of Don, had been sent advisory letters after an inspection in March found that infection control procedures at the practice, including those for instrument decontamination, did not meet national standards.

A spokeswoman for NHS Grampian said: “The letter reassures patients that the risk of infection is low. However, any patient who remains concerned can contact NHS 24 helpline 08000 28 28 16 between 8.00 am and 10.00 pm where they can get further advice about health concerns including for blood borne viruses such as hepatitis B, C and HIV.

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“Letters have been sent to patients registered at the independent practice between January, when it opened, and 10 April, the date of a follow up inspection which found infection control procedures were satisfactory and now followed national standards.”

She added: “Dr Xenofon Gkouzis is the only dentist now working in the practice. He is registered in the UK with the General Dental Council and is authorised to treat NHS patients in Grampian. This incident is not related to him.”

Dr Maria Rossi, consultant in Public Health Medicine at NHS Grampian, said: “We are working closely with local and national experts and have concluded there is a low risk of infection to patients. As our priority is always for the safety and welfare of patients, we felt it was important to write to inform them of this incident. The letter emphasises that no action is required by the patient, but tests will be available if anyone remains concerned having read the letter and after calling the helpline.”

Ray Watkins is Consultant in Dental Public Health at NHS Grampian. He added: “While this is an independent practice, it is expected to comply with national infection control standards. We are unable to confirm that these standards were adhered to prior to April 10 when at a follow-up visit, procedures were found to be satisfactory.

“The practice has co-operated with the investigation, and will continue to be monitored.”