A Basingstoke dentist has been banned from practising for eight months after refusing to give a dead patient’s family a refund.
James Kleiber, medical director at Glenholme Dental Centre, in Chequers Road, appeared before the General Dental Council last month to answer allegations of misleading conduct.
Claims were made against Mr Kleiber after he failed to refund a portion of the fee paid by the patient for work that was not completed as a result of her death.
The patient had reportedly paid £10,450 in advance for the work in January 2015 but when the patient died five months later the family asked for a refund.
The report from the GDC said Mr Kleiber’s subsequent communications with the family were “misleading and dishonest” while the dentist claimed the work had been completed.
During the hearing, committee members were presented with evidence in which Mr Kleiber claimed he had confused the patient in question with another one of his patients.
But the report noted that “it is not plausible that you confused Patient A with another patient as you maintain”.
The report read: “Your dishonest conduct was repeated and sustained over a period of some months and involved the making of false statements to the family of Patient A and the solicitors acting on their behalf.”
The report added: “The evidence that you have submitted suggests that you continue to lack insight into conduct which relates to repeated dishonest statements and a lack of integrity.
“The committee considers that your fellow professionals, and indeed the public, would view these serious departures from acceptable standards of conduct and behaviour to be deplorable.”
But the GDC noted the dentist’s conduct was out-of-character saying it had received “positive testimonials” on his behalf from colleagues and patients.
It added: “It is clear that you are a well-regarded and valued practitioner. You have also demonstrated the beginnings of some insight into your misconduct and have taken some steps towards remediation.”