Events Professional Discipline 1st Nov 2023

Neelam Gomersall to speak at BDA’s Annual Dento-Legal Study Day on Friday 17th November 2023

BDA’s Annual Dento-Legal Study Day: Professional boundaries – have the regulators pushed them too far?

Date: Friday 17 November 2023
Time: 09:30 – 16:30
Venue: BDA, LondonProgramme

Join this BDA event alongside peers to explore key aspects of professionalism, and through a mix of lecture-based presentations, Q&A and group discussion understand how regulators approach their assessment of professionalism and learn from real life cases. The study day will be of interest to BDA members, BDA Indemnity members and non members. To book a place please visit the BDA website events page here.

Topics for discussion include:

  • What constitutes professionalism and what is serious?
  • Inappropriate behaviour and professionalism, what and how the regulator interprets
  • How to maintain confidentiality including the use of social media
  • Discrimination and inclusivity
  • Can you teach professionalism and how?
  • Real-life cases and the top legal learnings


Neelam Gomersall – 2 Hare Court

Neelam’s practice focuses on criminal defence and professional discipline.

She often represents regulated professionals charged with criminal offences with an eye to the regulatory consequences that may follow. She has acted on behalf of medical professionals, sports professionals, teachers, and police officers.

Neelam has been instructed to act for and against regulators at all stages of the regulatory process. She has experience of several regulatory bodies including the General Dental Council, Nursing and Midwifery Council, Health and Care Professions Council, and Social Work England. She recently appeared in the High Court in an appeal against sanction imposed by the Professional Conduct Committee of the GDC in a case of sexual misconduct.

Ewan Bright, Senior Associate, Clyde and Co

Ewan is a Senior Associate in the Healthcare department at Clyde & Co. Ewan advises and acts for healthcare professionals in regulatory and disciplinary investigations (such as by the General Dental Council and NHS England) and in matters concerning privacy, confidentiality and data protection law. His clients include dentists and other healthcare professionals, and their defence organisations and insurers.

Len D’Cruz, Head of Indemnity, BDA

Len is Head of BDA Indemnity, a general dental practitioner, foundation trainer and practice owner. He has 21 years’ experience as a dento-legal advisor supporting dentists with complaints, clinical and regulatory issues, and clinical negligence claims. He is lead lecturer at the University of Bedfordshire teaching on the MA in Dental Law and Ethics. He has authored and co-authored two books: “Understanding NHS dentistry” and “Legal aspects of general dental practice” (Churchill Livingstone) and has contributed legal and ethical content to a number of text books and journals and websites. He regularly shares his wisdom on NHS regulations and contract reform and has both dental and legal qualifications.

James Goldman, Head of Advisory Services, BDA

James qualified as a barrister in 1994 and has worked as an in-house lawyer, in the retail, recruitment and public sectors. He has been at the BDA advising dentists since 2007. He has provided advice on a range of employment and commercial issues, has appeared in a number of tribunal cases, including on employment status of associates, and has lectured on a range of topics.

Simon Gomersall, Partner, Weightmans

Simon is a Partner in Weightmans health sector team, leading their Indemnifiers client grouping which covers providers of indemnity to professionals working in the health and social care sector.

Simon represents dentists, doctors and other healthcare professionals in disciplinary proceedings before their regulators arising from conduct, performance and health issues. His practice also includes inquests, NHS Performers List investigations and hospital disciplinary investigations. Simon is instructed by defence organisations, insurers, healthcare providers and companies, NHS bodies and individual healthcare professionals.

Simon is ranked in both the Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners, which recommends him as a lawyer who “glides into cases to provide great, calm advice”.

Andrew Kennedy KC, Barrister, One Crown Office Row

Andrew Kennedy KC has been a leading practitioner in healthcare related disciplinary and regulatory practice since the substantial increase in volume of this work in the mid-1990s. He has been instructed on behalf of the respondent practitioner in some of the most significant and high-profile cases over that time including GMC v Wishart and ors (paediatric cardiac surgery in Bristol), GMC v Urquhart and anor (breast screening at RD&E), and GMC v Williams (forensic pathologist for the Crown in R v Sally Clark).

He has represented a number of forensic pathologists before the Home Office Delivery Board for Forensic Pathology.

The majority of Andrew’s disciplinary practice involves acting for respondent practitioners, but he has acted for the regulator on a number of occasions. He has appeared before all the major healthcare regulators (GMC, GDC, NMC, HPC, RPS, GOC, GCC) as well as other regulators (CSP, UKCP and others). He also appears before the RCVS and has conducted cases before a number of non-medical regulators including SDT, BSB.

Andrew represents doctors, dentists and other professionals in appeals to the High Court arising from disciplinary cases.

David Obree, GDP and Fellow in Medical Ethics, Edinburgh Medical School

David Obree is a general dental practitioner and Fellow in Medical Ethics and Medical Education at the University of Edinburgh Medical School where he teaches medical ethics, legal and professional responsibilities to undergraduate and postgraduate medical students. His published writings include professional ethics in dentistry, clinical ethics in obstetrics and gynaecology, the ethics of synthetic biology and the ethics of road safety.

Kathryn Pitters, Barrister, Irwin Mitchell

Kathryn is a Barrister with significant expertise in in healthcare regulatory and criminal work. Kathryn has advised and represented clients in respect of all stages of fitness to practice proceedings. Kathryn also has in excess of 10 years of experience in representing clients who have been charged with a range of serious offences, before the Crown Courts and the Court of Appeal.

Amitha Ranauta, Professor in Professionalism Education and Centre Lead for Teaching and Innovation, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London

Amitha qualified as a dentist from Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry in 1996. Whilst working in general dental practice, she completed her Medical Law degree at Cardiff University in 2000. She completed the Communication Skills Teaching Programme at the University of Cambridge in 2011. Amitha successfully completed her PhD thesis, ‘ Professionalism in the dental undergraduate curriculum’, in 2016. Her education research interests are professionalism education reflective practice and advanced simulation training.

Amitha is the Lead for the Centre of Teaching and Innovation, Professor in Professionalism Education and the module Lead for Dental Professionalism Teaching.

Nishma Sharma, Chair, Diversity in Dentistry Action Group and Dentist, Hertfordshire

Nishma Sharma is a practicing portfolio dentist from Hertfordshire. She founded the Diversity in Dentistry Action Group whilst working at the Office of the Chief Dental Officer, England in June 2020, a group working with stakeholders across the entire profession with a focus on inclusivity and equality.

She works as a clinical advisor for NHSE and mentors newly qualified medics, dentists and therapists. She was invited to take on the role of Honorary Vice President for BSDHT and champions the plight of dental Hygienists and Therapists within the profession. She has given numerous talks both nationally and internationally on various topics including inclusivity, women in leadership, mental health and well-being, professionalism, portfolio careers and happiness in dentistry. Her unique frank and open presentation style has resonated with many and she is now being invited to speak at events outside of healthcare.

British Dental Association, 64 Wimpole St, London W1G 8YS

Categories: Events | News