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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 April 2007, 17:31 GMT 18:31 UK
Dentist denies urinating in sink
A dentist accused of urinating in a surgery sink before seeing a patient has said he was "cleaning his teeth" as part of his normal routine.

Alan Hutchinson told a General Dental Council tribunal that he was "stunned" by the allegations.

Mr Hutchinson, 51, is also accused of other unhygienic practices at the Branch Road Dental Practice in Batley, West Yorkshire.

He admits not routinely wearing gloves, but denies all other charges.

'Latex allergy'

The tribunal has heard how the father-of-three allegedly cleaned his ears and fingernails with sterilised tools and urinated in a sink at the surgery.

Mr Hutchinson said for most of his career he had not always used gloves while treating patients due to a latex allergy, a practice which he said he "regretted".

Following evidence given earlier by dental nurse Claire Pygott, who said she saw the dentist using a surgical sink as a toilet, Mr Hutchinson said he had cleaned the surgery X-ray machine, which he said would normally have a strong smell of ammonia - similar to urine - when washed.

He said he was, in fact, in the process of cleaning his teeth when his nurse came into the room.

'Nothing unusual'

He told the tribunal: "Possibly I had finished but I was in the process of cleaning my teeth.

"There was nothing unusual. I cleaned my teeth and cleaned the sink, wiping up any splashes."

The dentist said the allegation about urinating was not mentioned to him for several days until a meeting involving his practice partner, John Bairstow, when he was presented with a written statement about the allegation.

He said: "I was just stunned, I really was.

"I read the statement, it was quite lengthy. I probably read it again because to be honest I really couldn't believe what I was reading."

'Overwhelming evidence'

Summing up, Jenni Richards, prosecuting, said there was "overwhelming evidence" that Mr Hutchinson sometimes did not use gloves during operations as well as examinations.

But Simon Cridland, defending, said the sink in question was too high to have been used as a urinal.

The hearing was adjourned until Thursday, when the tribunal committee will meet in private to discuss the evidence they have heard.

If found guilty, Mr Hutchinson could be struck off the dental register.


SEE ALSO
Dentist 'operated without gloves'
03 Apr 07 |  Bradford
Dentist 'used sink as a urinal'
02 Apr 07 |  Bradford
Dentist 'cleaned ears with tools'
22 Mar 07 |  Bradford

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