A Littlehampton dentist who is believed to have left the country has been suspended ‘to protect the public’ after accepting thousands of pounds from a patient for work he did not complete.
The suspension of Juan Carlos Barreto-Rubio was decided at a hearing of the General Dental Council’s Interim Orders Committee last Thursday, and the minutes of the hearing were published online.
Mr Barreto-Rubio ran the Beach Road Dental Care surgery in Beach Road, Littlehampton before it closed earlier this year. Click here for the original story.
According to the minutes of the meeting, Mr Barreto-Rubio was suspended from practising dentistry for 18 months while the General Dental Council investigated allegations made by a patient who had sought treatment from him.
The dental council received the complaint on February 2, which claimed that Mr Barreto-Rubio accepted £2,600 from the patient for dental treatment that he did not provide.
Furthermore, it claimed that the dentist accepted the payment knowing he had filed for bankruptcy and was therefore unlikely to complete the work.
The committee heard there was also ‘a real concern’ that the patient’s records were missing, as NHS England did not know their whereabouts and Mr Barreto-Rubio had not responded to requests to find them.
Mr Barreto-Rubio did not attend the committee hearing or have any legal representation. According to the minutes of the hearing, Mr Barreto-Rubio is now believed to be living in Tenerife and considers himself retired from dentistry.
Regarding his suspension, the committee said: “Having considered all the information before it, the committee is satisfied that it is necessary for the protection of the public and otherwise in the public interest to impose an interim order on Mr Barreto- Rubio’s registration.
“The committee considered the allegations against Mr Barreto-Rubio to be serious and noted the information regarding his alleged current financial position.
“It decided that there would be a financial risk of harm to patients, if Mr Barreto-Rubio were to return to work under the alleged circumstances.
“An order is therefore necessary to protect the public.”
The committee decided to go ahead with the hearing in his absence after seeing proof that he had been told about it via an email and a letter sent by post on May 16.