Worked to death: NHS dentist takes his own life 'after health bosses threatened to strike him off because he couldn't keep up with paperwork for 10,000 patients'

  • Dr Anand Kamath was investigated over minor record keeping problems
  • His wife and fellow dentist Dr Rajni Prasad accused health chiefs of driving her husband to suicide
  • Dr Prasad said they felt 'very vulnerable and harassed and bullied' by Trust

By Eleanor Harding

PUBLISHED: 12:50 GMT, 11 August 2013 | UPDATED: 00:12 GMT, 12 August 2013

 

An NHS dentist who was so hardworking he never refused a patient was driven to suicide when health chiefs threatened to strike him off over his record-keeping.

Dr Anand Kamath, 42, was the only NHS dentist in his area and took on as many people as he could so they would not have to pay to go private.

But the father-of-three became the  subject of an investigation when NHS  officials criticised his record-keeping,  which had suffered due to his 10,000-strong list of patients.

Dr Anand Kamath (right)

Dr Anand Kamath (right) had 10,000 patients on his books but was threatened with being struck off because of minor record keeping errors. His wife Dr Rajni Prasad (left) accused health chiefs of driving her husband to suicide

His widow told an inquest he felt ‘bullied and harassed’ after being summoned for a meeting and sent a letter warning he could be reported to the General Dental Council.  Now the British Dental Association has called on the NHS to hold an inquiry into his death.

His wife Dr Rajni Prasad, a dentist who worked alongside him, wept yesterday as she said over-zealous health officials had driven him to his death.

‘It was just too much. They behaved like bullies and drove a loyal NHS servant over the edge,’ she said.

‘He just couldn’t take the anxiety. He wasn’t eating or sleeping after the meeting. When the letter came that was the final straw. He gave everything to the NHS. He worried about losing everything if they stopped us practising.’


She added: ‘His reward for caring for thousands of patients no other practice would take was to be threatened with the most severe disciplinary action over administrative matters which we agreed straightaway needed improvement.’

The inquest in Wakefield, Yorkshire, heard last week how Dr Kamath and his wife, 42, had worked for the NHS in Leeds for ten years.

The pair tried to take on as many patients as possible, giving them a list four times the length of the average practice. For the first four years at Rothwell Dental Surgery Dr Kamath did not take a holiday and rarely took a lunchbreak. At one point, the centre was treating up to 50 people a day.

Dr Prasad said her husband was a servant to NHS

Dr Prasad said her husband was a servant to NHS

The couple were on a modest  contract and could have earned tens of thousands more treating private patients.

But after two minor complaints, the primary care trust conducted an audit which led to an investigation into record-keeping. The pair were called to a meeting in December where trust officials threatened to report them to the General Dental Council.

Two days later a letter arrived from the same managers warning of action to suspend them from the list of NHS-approved dentists.

Soon afterwards, Dr Kamath’s wife found him dead at their home in Pudsey near Leeds.

She told the inquest: ‘We were both very stressed and felt vulnerable, harassed and bullied with no support offered.’ Wakefield coroner David Hinchliff recorded a verdict of suicide and said unreasonable pressure exerted on Dr Kamath by the trust ‘pushed a good man over the edge’.

Dr Prasad said: ‘I told my children dad died after a fall. How could I tell them the awful truth?’

An NHS England spokesman said: ‘We are happy that the investigation that was being undertaken at this practice was following National Clinical Assessment service advice.’AN NHS dentist who was so hardworking he never refused a patient was driven to suicide when health chiefs threatened to strike him off over his record-keeping.

Dr Anand Kamath, 42, was the only NHS dentist in his area and took on as many people as he could so they would not have to pay to go private.

But the father-of-three became the  subject of an investigation when NHS  officials criticised his record-keeping,  which had suffered due to his 10,000-strong list of patients.

His widow told an inquest he felt ‘bullied and harassed’ after being summoned for a meeting and sent a letter warning he could be reported to the General Dental Council.  Now the British Dental Association has called on the NHS to hold an inquiry into his death.

His wife Dr Rajni Prasad, a dentist who worked alongside him, wept yesterday as she said over-zealous health officials had driven him to his death.

‘It was just too much. They behaved like bullies and drove a loyal NHS servant over the edge,’ she said.

‘He just couldn’t take the anxiety. He wasn’t eating or sleeping after the meeting. When the letter came that was the final straw. He gave everything to the NHS. He worried about losing everything if they stopped us practising.’

She added: ‘His reward for caring for thousands of patients no other practice would take was to be threatened with the most severe disciplinary action over administrative matters which we agreed straightaway needed improvement.’

The couple fell behind in their record keeping because of the huge number of patients they saw daily (file picture)

The couple fell behind in their record keeping because of the huge number of patients they saw daily (file picture)

The inquest in Wakefield, Yorkshire, heard last week how Dr Kamath and his wife, 42, had worked for the NHS in Leeds for ten years.

The pair tried to take on as many patients as possible, giving them a list four times the length of the average practice. For the first four years at Rothwell Dental Surgery Dr Kamath did not take a holiday and rarely took a lunchbreak. At one point, the centre was treating up to 50 people a day.

The couple were on a modest  contract and could have earned tens of thousands more treating private patients.

But after two minor complaints, the primary care trust conducted an audit which led to an investigation into record-keeping. The pair were called to a meeting in December where trust officials threatened to report them to the General Dental Council.

Two days later a letter arrived from the same managers warning of action to suspend them from the list of NHS-approved dentists.

Soon afterwards, Dr Kamath’s wife found him dead at their home in Pudsey near Leeds.

She told the inquest: ‘We were both very stressed and felt vulnerable, harassed and bullied with no support offered.’ Wakefield coroner David Hinchliff recorded a verdict of suicide and said unreasonable pressure exerted on Dr Kamath by the trust ‘pushed a good man over the edge’.

Dr Prasad said: ‘I told my children dad died after a fall. How could I tell them the awful truth?’

An NHS England spokesman said: ‘We are happy that the investigation that was being undertaken at this practice was following National Clinical Assessment service advice.’

General Dental Council Complaints - QualitySolicitors

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The General Dental Council (GDC) has recently been criticised for its failure to deal with serious complaints promptly, the BBC reports. The General Dental ...

 

The comments below have been moderated in advance.

Mr robot, go away. He is not an american dentist who charges what he likes.This is a genuine nhs dentist who tried hard for his patient and got punished for working hard. Instead of disciplining this man perhaps they should have supported him.

 

 

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Poor dear man. Sympathies to his wife and now fatherless children.

 

 

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I get asked why I stopped working as a dentist and this tragic example is the reason why- the extremely high levels of stress that come with the job . Maybe people can remember this poor man every time they walk into a surgery and say, "No offence doc, but I HATE the dentist". Deepest condolences to his family.

 

 

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I live directly opposite a dental practice and have waited ten years!! for her to have a vacancy in her practice because the number of people she can treat on the NHS is restricted. Fortunately I rarely have any trouble with my teeth so this has not been a problem, until that is a couple of months ago when I lost a filling and a nearby chunk of tooth and was in agony. I rang around all the practices in the area and finally managed an appointment at on four miles away (yay for bus passes), where I was treated by a delightful young Spanish dentist who could not have been nicer, more helpful nor given me better treatment!!L lizzie, aberdare, And the point of this reminiscence in relation to the story is what?

 

 

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What a horrible thing to have happen! A great man who serving the public to be seen through nhs. I'd be feeling GULTY much in knowing a man taking his own life because I made a complaint against them! It's a free service NHS yes??? & they still complain! Shameful.

 

 

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The civil service, civil servants and red tape are responsible. Too many desk jockeys and not enough doers.

 

 

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This poor man was probably the Only NHS dentist for 30 miles around. Mind you, he will have been getting paid for each patient . Did he have to take on so many ?

 

 

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What the Thatcher government did to dentistry (and its availability on the NHS) - this government is manouvring to do to General Practice

 

 

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OMG!

 

 

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RIP - so sad - but this highlights the problem with the NHS - more concerned with paper work than patient care .

 

 

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