Capabilities of diagnosing chronic dental mercury poisoning

The request was partially successful.

Dear Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust,

1. What capabilities does the Trust have for diagnosing chronic mercury poisoning resulting from long-term storage of dental amalgam mercury in a person's mouth?

2. What provisions does the Trust have in place for monitoring for cases of such toxicity, in accordance with Articles 2 and 8(1) of Directive 93/42/EEC (MDD)?

3. How many, and which, personnel of the Trust have competence in such diagnosis and monitoring?

4. What is the basis (qualifications, experience, training) of their competence for carrying out such diagnosis?

Yours faithfully,

Mr Clarke

FOI Office,

Dear Mr. Clarke,

Thank you for your request for information regarding dental mercury poisoning. Your request was received on April 14, 2011 and I am dealing with it under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

In some circumstances a fee may be payable and if that is the case I will let you know. A fees notice will be issued to you, and you will be required to pay before I will proceed to deal with your request.

You will receive the information requested within 20 working days unless the Trust does not hold the information or there is a reason for it to be withheld. I will write to you in any event.

If you have any requirements regarding the format any information should be supplied in, e.g. the language to be used, audio, large print and so on, then please let me know. If you have not already done so, please supply your email address if you are willing to receive the information electronically.

If you have any queries or concerns then please do not hesitate to contact me. Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

Further information about your rights is also available from the Information Commissioner at: Information Commissioner's Office Wycliffe House Water Lane Wilmslow Cheshire SK9 5AF Telephone: 08456 30 60 60 or 01625 54 57 45 www.ico.gov.uk
Yours sincerely

Keely Anne Hill
Communications officer (FOI and external communications)
 
Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust,
THQ, B1 Building, Unit 1, 50 Summer Hill Road
Birmingham, B1 3RB

t: 0121 301 1274
m: 07985 883 047
w: www.bsmhft.nhs.uk
 
 

show quoted sections

FOI Office,

Dear Mr Clarke,

Thank you for your request for information which we received on April 14, 2011:

1. What capabilities does the Trust have for diagnosing chronic mercury poisoning resulting from long-term storage of dental amalgam mercury in a person's mouth?

2. What provisions does the Trust have in place for monitoring for cases of such toxicity, in accordance with Articles 2 and 8(1) of Directive 93/42/EEC (MDD)?

3. How many, and which, personnel of the Trust have competence in such diagnosis and monitoring?

4. What is the basis (qualifications, experience, training) of their competence for carrying out such diagnosis?

We have considered your request and can provide the following information:

1. What capabilities does the Trust have for diagnosing chronic mercury poisoning resulting from long-term storage of dental amalgam mercury in a person's mouth?
Chronic mercury poisoning is a medical condition that would normally be seen and treated in a general hospital, probably a toxicology unit. It is highly unlikely to present in a psychiatric setting.

2. What provisions does the Trust have in place for monitoring for cases of such toxicity, in accordance with Articles 2 and 8(1) of Directive 93/42/EEC (MDD)?
This is the responsibility of toxicology units.

3. How many, and which, personnel of the Trust have competence in such diagnosis and monitoring?
In the unlikely event of referral to the trust of someone presenting with mercury toxicity with effects on memory and delirium, there are 3 neuropsychiatrists and 3 psychologists that work within neuropsychology qualified to examine the person and confirm that there is an effect on memory and attention and to make inquiries and appropriate referrals on the basis of such a finding.

4. What is the basis (qualifications, experience, training) of their competence for carrying out such diagnosis?
Training as psychiatrists with specialism in neuropsychiatry.

If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your request and wish to request a review of our decision, you should write to the Director of Communications & Marketing, BSMHFT, 50 Summer Hill Road, Birmingham, B1 3RB, or e-mail [email address].

If you are not content with the outcome of your review, you may apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. Generally, the ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the complaints procedure provided by our Trust. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:

Information Commissioner's Office Wycliffe House Water Lane Wilmslow Cheshire SK9 5AF Telephone: 08456 30 60 60 or 01625 54 57 45 www.ico.gov.uk

We are always interesting in improving our services. To give us feedback regarding your experience with the Freedom of information office, please visit: http://www.bsmhft.nhs.uk/about-us/foi/fo... .

Yours sincerely,

Keely Anne Hill
Communications officer (FOI and external communications)
 
Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust,
THQ, B1 Building, Unit 1, 50 Summer Hill Road
Birmingham, B1 3RB

t: 0121 301 1274
m: 07985 883 047
w: www.bsmhft.nhs.uk
 
 

show quoted sections

Dear FOI Office,

Thanks for answering the questions. But the answers make clear that there is something very seriously wrong with BSMHFT.

Some of the most characteristic symptoms of chronic mercury vapour intoxication are depression, anxiety, phobias, pathological shyness and anger, mental fatigue, indecision, irritability, besides, as you mentioned above, memory and attention difficulties. All this has been known for centuries.
Indeed, in the words of Tuthill 1899, "makes a mental wreck of its victim". And yet you would have me believe that this would be "highly unlikely to present in a psychiatric setting".

This appears to me to be just more of the pseudoscience quackery that infests the NHS in respect of dental mercury. It makes clear that BSMHFT is severely failing in its duty to identify mercury-poisoned victims. BSMHFT appears to be employing a load of charlatans who need to be urgently replaced with some genuinely competent clinicians instead. I could do a better job myself.

Yours sincerely,

Mr Clarke

Looking for an EU Authority?

You can request documents directly from EU Institutions at our sister site AskTheEU.org . Find out more .

AskTheEU.org