Call for inquiry after suicide of dentist ‘harassed’ by NHS chiefs

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AN inquiry has been demanded into the death of a Yorkshire dentist who killed himself after feeling “harassed and bullied” by health managers.

The British Dental Association (BDA) is asking for an investigation over the suicide of Dr Anand Kamath, which followed scrutiny of record-keeping at his practice in Rothwell, Leeds.

Earlier this week, a coroner recorded a verdict of suicide over Dr Kamath’s death at his home in Pudsey last December, which came days after the dentist and his wife had attended a meeting with NHS Airedale, Bradford and Leeds.

Now the BDA has written to Earl Howe, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health, warning that some dentists are under “unreasonable pressure”.

Dr John Milne, chairman of the BDA’s General Dental Practice Committee, said: “The sad death of Dr Kamath is not the first suicide by a dentist under pressure in this way, but it must be the
last.

“It is important that an independent inquiry looks closely at these events and how investigations are carried out.”

He said the Government must also ensure that workloads do not adversely affect the health
of dentists.

It was important that available support was highlighted, Dr Milne added.

A spokesman for NHS England, which has taken over responsibility for dental commissioning, said they were “deeply saddened” by Dr Kamath’s death.

“We have a duty to investigate all concerns about any of our services and we take this very seriously to ensure a safe service for all patients.”

The spokesman added: “We agreed an immediate change to the contractual workload requirements and offered support for a local resolution.

“Two dental advisers had been involved with Dr Kamath’s practice through investigation audit and advice.”

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