A former dental nurse who overcharged patients and pocketed the extra money has been struck off after failing to attend a public hearing.
Melanie Inkster was last week summoned by the General Dental Council after admitting she overcharged patients or falsely recorded lower payments than had been paid.
The body’s professional conduct committee found that Ms Inkster overcharged patients for their treatment over a 12-month period from August 2010. She falsely recorded lower payments as having been received, and took the sum overcharged for her own use.
A GDC hearing on Friday heard Ms Inkster admitted her actions during her employer’s disciplinary process.
At the time she said it was not something she would normally do but, “it started and got out of hand”.
A statement from the committee said: “Ms Inkster’s actions fell far short of the standards of the profession, and her conduct was inappropriate and dishonest. Ms Inkster’s action was a serious breach of patient trust and disregarded basic tenets of the profession.”
It added: “Whilst recognising that dishonesty does not inevitably lead to erasure from the GDC’s register, the case also involved breaches of patient trust. Ms Inkster’s behaviour has been deemed so unacceptable to the reputation of the profession that erasure is the only appropriate and proportionate sanction.”
Ms Inkster has until 2nd December to lodge an appeal with the Court of Session. If she does not appeal her name will be erased from 3rd December. Her registration is already suspended, which means she cannot work as a dental nurse.