Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Morning Drill: July 31, 2012

Dr Joyce Trail has been found guilty of conspiracy to defraud the NHS Photo: ITV Central

Good Tuesday morning!

On to today's dentistry and health headlines:

Birmingham dentist guilty of £1.4million NHS fraud

A dentist has been convicted of defrauding the NHS of £1.4 million, in one of the biggest cases of fraud the health service has ever seen.

Dr Joyce Trail, 50, was found guilty along with her daughter Nyri Sterling, 33, of conspiracy to defraud.

Her sister Fiona Trail also stood trial at Birmingham Crown Court on the same charge. She was found not guilty.

Dr Trail's deal with Birmingham and Solihull PCT was for £620,000 a year. So she was paid over £50,000 a month but simply didn't do most of the work.

She just said she'd done it and forged the paperwork - sometimes changing names with whitener fluid.

Joyce Trail lived a life of luxury in a £1.2 million house while declaring an income of less than fifty thousand pounds a year to the Inland Revenue.

Judge Peter Carr said today:

    "In your case there is no other option than a substantial sentence of imprisonment, the only thing I need to decide is its length.

    "You abused your position as a professional and you abused your position as a dentist. You have effectively stolen a large amount of money that was not available to an already overstretched health service."

– Judge Peter Carr

Dr Trail was so busy with the fraud she barely did any real dentistry at all.

During the indictment period between 2006 and 2009 investigators identified over 7000 false claims – 75% of all NHS claims made by Joyce Trail in that time.

Woman in court over 'dental poisoning' allegations

A woman from Bedford has appeared at the town's magistrates court accused of poisoning colleagues at a dental practice.

33-year-old Ravinder Kaur is facing two charges of administering poison "with intent to injure, aggrieve or annoy".

It's claimed on March 5 2012 she unlawfully and maliciously administered to Georgia Tobitt a poison, called Mercury Amalgam, with the intent to injure or annoy her, contrary to section 21 of the offences against the person act 1861.

She is charged with committing the same offence against Laura Knowles on 16 March 2012.

What's on Ryan Lochte's teeth?

Olympic gold-medal swimmer Ryan Lochte’s stunning smile had me looking closer at what I thought at first looked like braces on his teeth.

Nope, those aren't braces. That’s a decorative dental grill he’s sporting.

Grills (or, if you’re hip enough, grillz) are purely decorative coverings for one or more teeth; made popular by hip-hop and rap music artists in the late 1980s and early 1990s. They are usually made of gold or another precious metal, and they’re often decorated (like Lochte’s) with jewels. You can order them online or buy them on eBay; apparently some jewelers and tattoo parlors offer them, too, though I couldn’t find listings for any in the greater D.C. area.

The American Dental Association offers a bit of guidance regarding grills; basically, the ADA says, they’re okay if they’re made of safe materials, they fit properly, you don’t wear them constantly and you keep them clean. The ADA Web site recommends talking with a dentist before getting a grill.

Runner: 16,075 consecutive days -- and counting

Mark Covert is something of a celebrity in the running world.

Every year around this time, his phone starts to ring off the hook as he passes another milestone in his "running streak" -- the number of consecutive days he's logged at least a mile.

This week he hit 44 years, or 16,075 days in a row. It's the longest active streak ever recorded by the United States Running Streak Association. His closest competitor is Jon Sutherland, who's logged 15,768 days.

Covert, now 61, started his streak on July 23, 1968, as a high school senior. In 1970 he was named the NCAA individual cross country champion, and he helped his California State University, Fullerton cross country team grab a NCAA Division II title the year after. In 1972, Covert placed seventh at the U.S. Olympic marathon trials.

Covert, now a coach and teacher at Antelope Valley College in Lancaster, California, still logs between 35 and 45 miles a week.

Enjoy your morning!

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