Aberdeen dental practice Fergus and Glover has reopened as its directors’ suspensions have been revoked.
It ceased operations at its branches on Union Street – and at Hutcheon Street in Glasgow – on December 8 when it was discovered they were not registered with the correct oversight body.
George Glover and Jacqueline Fergus were summoned to a hearing of the General Dental Council one week later over their membership with Health Improvement Scotland (HIS).
They were accused of operating an “unregistered” service that was not being monitored by either NHS or HIS practice inspectors.
Both directors were given an 18-month suspension.
The hearing last year heard that responsibility for arranging HIS registration had been delegated to a practice manager with 14 years’ experience.
And while Ms Fergus and Mr Glover were aware of a payment to HIS being made, they did not receive written confirmation of the registration.
It later transparent the manager had been suffering health problems during the application period and had hidden enforcement letters from the body, hoping to resolve the matter before it reached their attention.
But the GDC’s Interim Orders Committee met this week for an early review at the request of Ms Fergus and Mr Glover.
In a decision report, a member of the panel said: “Subsequent to that initial hearing, an inspection was carried out and HIS is ready to register the practices.
“However, the practices cannot be registered until the suspension has been lifted by the GDC.”
The committee said its role is to assess risk, rather than to find facts, and that there has been a “material change in circumstances” since the initial hearing.
Its decision said: “The committee is satisfied that there is no real risk of harm to the public and that the risk of these matters reoccurring is low.”
The panel said a “reasonably informed” member of the public would not be “surprised, concerned or troubled” if the suspension was lifted, and agreed to revoke the measure.
A spokesman for Fergus and Glover said: “We are pleased to confirm that Healthcare Improvement Scotland registered both our practices, in Aberdeen and in Glasgow, on February 18.
“This means we are now welcoming patients back to our practices, offering appointments scheduled in line with current Scottish Government guidance.”