On 2nd February 2017, in response to publication of the whistleblower exposé of the Deprox fraud, Specialist Hygiene Solutions Australia Pty Ltd declared voluntary liquidation, and Australian Deprox distributor Acute Healthcare hastily dropped the product from its catalogue.
However, in order to to maintain product registration with the ARTG (Australian Register of Therapeutic Devices) Hygiene Solutions (UK) must have a registered Australian company as sponsor.
It has emerged that a second business, under the name Specialist Hygiene Solutions Australia has been created with a new ABN – this is a partnership, rather than a limited company – and this new entity has taken over sponsorship of the Deprox and Deproxin products.
Unfortunately, Australian business practices are less than transparent, and short of legal action it is impossible to identify who the beneficial owners of this Australian partnership are. The only identity given is “The Trustee for the RS & HR family Trust and others” Like Panamian bank accounts and Cayman Island investment trusts, this legitimised anonymity is very convenient for individuals wishing to invest in unethical or fraudulent trading, as funds can be easily laundered through a web of interconnected Australian family trusts.
However, a search of the history reveals that the original name of “The Trustee for the RS & HR family Trust and others” was “THE TRUSTEE FOR RS & HR FAMILY TRUST & THE TRUSTEE FOR THE AT SITE SUPPLIES TRUST & THE TRUSTEE FOR THE HALES TRUST”
Furthermore, a search of Australian trademarks reveals the following:
The LinkedIn profile shows that Gregory Hales was a director of At Site Supplies, and is currently the director of SafeSmart Access. Both SafeSmart Access and Hygiene Solutions limited share the same Sydney, NSW address.
It seems likely therefore that the Australian Deprox operation is run by Gregory Jay Hales, a prominent member of the so called “Hales Exclusive Brethren” a highly controversial religious sect headquartered in Sydney, Australia.
Australian relaunch in Canberra
Rick Fentiman, Hygiene Solutions Ltd director and self-appointed “Cambridge University Microbiologist” will be exhibiting at the Australasian College of Infection Prevention and Control (ACIPC) exhibition in Canberra, 20-22 November 2017. He will doubtless be bringing his “Proxcide” Mk. III Deprox prototype, as well as the Deprox and Ultra-V systems to display.
Hygiene Solutions Ltd has also splashed out $10,300 to become a “Bronze Sponsor” of the ACIP exhibition, over and above the $6,600 for the booth. This level of investment suggests a major push in to the Australian market, and it is rumoured that the Fentimans may be relocating to Australia along with their business, thus evading a number of impending legal actions in the UK. Given Australia’s historic function as a penal colony, this move would seem to be entirely appropriate.
Any hospitals considering these systems should first give sober consideration to the tragic experience of the UCLH hospital in London, where a C. difficile epidemic following the introduction of the Deprox system led to an estimated 12 deaths over a period of 3 years.