U.K. dentist told old magazines pose infection risk

A U.K. dentist was told to get rid of old magazines in her waiting room because they posed an infection risk.

Dr. Monica Symes, who has a practice in Dorset, England, told the BBC that a National Health Service (NHS) infection control worker warned her that keeping back issues of Country Life could make her fail health and safety inspections.

An NHS regulator denied such a rule exists, but the British Dental Association (BDA) said dentists are "being stymied by heavy-handed rules."

Dr. Symes says she was also told not to use adhesive putty on posters in her waiting room because of the danger of cross-contamination, and told to reupholster the cushions in her waiting room to plastic instead of fabric.

An NHS spokesman said that patient waiting areas should be kept clear of unnecessary clutter to facilitate regular effective cleaning.

But the BDA said providing magazines in waiting rooms for patients to read is a good way of helping them to relax and can ease the concerns of anxious individuals.

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