03052015Sun

Last updateSun, 03 May 2015 2pm

Indian Dentist killed himself after being "Bullied and Harassed" by NHS over "Paperwork"

A Leeds-based Indian dentist, who refused to turn any patients away, killed himself after "bullying" health officials threatened to strike him off over paperwork.

Dr Anand Kamath and his wife Dr Rajni Prasad, both 42, are reported to have taken on more than 10,000 patients, who didn't want to seek expensive private dental care, at their practise in Pudsey, Leeds.

At one point, the couple were each treating more than 50 patients a day.

Dr Kamath is said to have had trouble keeping on top of the patients' paperwork and was being investigated by the local NHS authority.

Dr Prasad told an inquest into her husband's death that he was "harassed and bullied" by the NHS Airedale, Bradford and Leeds Primary Care Trust following two minor complaints about their practice.

The father of three young children was warned that he and his wife could be referred to the General Dental Council in November over the "administrative" errors.

In a statement read to the inquest, she said: 'He felt extremely stressed and bullied by [the Trust] and wasn't able to eat or sleep, which led to him taking his own life.'

Dr Kamath died after slitting his wrists during a lunch break and was later discovered by his wife.

She said: 'It was just too much. They behaved like bullies and drove a loyal NHS servant over the edge. 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.

'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.'

She said her husband did not take a holiday for the first four years after they set up the practice, the Rothwell Dental Surgery, and rarely took lunch breaks to see as many patients as possible.

The couple worked for 10 years only taking NHS patients, even though they could have earned more through going private.

The British Dental Association has described the case as shocking and called on the NHS to hold an independent inquiry into the circumstances of the death.

Coroner Dr David Hinchcliffe declared Dr Kamath had been driven to take his life.

He said: 'There had been a complaint and an investigation, not about his ability as a dentist, but in relation to record keeping which had put him and his wife under an intolerable strain

'It seems he was in grave danger of being reported to the General Dental Council, being removed from the list of practitioners which would have ended his career.'

A spokesman for NHS England said that the investigation into Dr Kamath's practice had followed guidelines set by the Service.

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