CQC takes action against practice after dentist convicted of sexual offence

Prais Dental Care in Lyttelton Road, Hampstead Garden Suburb

Prais Dental Care in Lyttelton Road, Hampstead Garden Suburb - Credit: Google

The UK's health watchdog is taking enforcement action against a Hampstead Garden Suburb practice after a dentist was convicted of a sexual offence.

Richard Prais, who ran Prais Dental Care (PDC), in Lyttelton Road, was sentenced to four months in jail, suspended for 12 months, at Harrow Crown Court, on October 29.

The 57-year-old, of Winnington Road, had admitted an "adult attempt to engage in sexual communication with a child" on September 17 at Willesden Magistrates Court.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has said it is taking enforcement action against the practice. It is understood that the watchdog has looked at removing the location, but the CQC said a "new provider is looking to take over the practice".

Sampana Banga, head of inspection for dentistry, said: “CQC are in the process of taking enforcement action at of Prais Dental Practice. The provider has the right to appeal this proposed enforcement action. 

“We understand that Mr Prais is no longer working at the surgery and that a new provider is looking to take over the practice to help ensure people’s access to safe, high quality care.”

The CQC inspected the practice on September 10, publishing its report on September 23 – after Prais' guilty plea. It found the practice to be safe, effective and well-led with "no safety incidents" in the previous 12 months. 

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Mr Banga said: “We can confirm Prais Dental Practice did not inform us of any allegations regarding Richard Prais prior to an inspection that took place in September 2021. CQC were made aware about the allegations via a partner organisation and an inspector spoke to a member of staff regarding them during the inspection. At the end of September police contacted CQC and provided information regarding the conviction.   

“The report, which published 23 September, was based on our findings that we were able to see on the day of the inspection and is an assessment on the quality of the practice, rather than an individual."

The website http://www.praisdental.co.uk/ is now no longer in operation, but had temporarily redirected to the new website https://www.myprimedental.co.uk, which is now active.

According to Companies House, Richard Prais gave up being a person of significant control in the dental practice company Lyttelton Rock Ltd, registered at Pyramid House in the High Road, North Finchley, on December 20.

Frania Prais, who shares an address with Richard Prais, took over significant control (75% or more), before the name was updated to "Frania Vaila Ryba" and then Frania Baila Ryba".

The private company Lyttelton Holdings Limited – not listed as a dental practice but also with an address at Pyramid House – was incorporated on November 18, with Richard Prais as owner and director.

To date, no information has been filed with Companies House which links Lyttleton Holdings Ltd to Lyttleton Rock Ltd.

A spokesperson for the practice said: “Our dental practice will continue to provide expert dental care and treatment to our many patients. At all times we have  followed the restrictions placed on us without impact on patients.

"The CQC had been advised by the NHS of the issues prior to the inspection and their report published on September 23 confirmed that the practice is operating in full accordance with the relevant regulations.

"Our practice is now under the leadership of a senior dentist, who has been at the practice for over 15 years and will be familiar to many patients. We expect our reregistration to be confirmed and in the meantime, there will be no impact on patients, who should contact us if they have any concerns.”