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Encouraging improvement and our next phase of regulation

  • Organisations we regulate

As we build towards the next step in our evolution in how we regulate dentistry from April 2018 it is always useful to remind ourselves of the progress we have made with the sector since we began regulating back in 2011. I also wanted to take this opportunity to update on the work of the Regulation of Dental Services Programme Board since our stakeholder event back in September.

State of Care

In October we published our annual report to Parliament, State of Care. There were many encouraging signs for dentistry and the message was very much “keep up the good work”. The picture remains positive and consistent with the previous year with 88% of dental practices that we inspected meeting regulations relating to all five key questions.

There is also a positive story to tell around those practices who have improved since inspection. Of the 157 practices that required action, 95% of those improved and now have no action required. This is testament to those practices, as well as an endorsement of our approach. We have a big role to play in encouraging improvement. We will continue to build on our examples of notable practice and we will look to work with the sector through our Dental Reference Group to improve how we can share this work to encourage improvement.

Regulation of Dental Services Programme Board

As I have talked about previously, CQC and other key players in the sector have sought to encourage improvement through the Regulation of Dental Services Programme Board (RDSPB). The model for improvement proposed by us as a Board was to encourage dentists and their teams to focus on learning and improvement by engaging in local peer group support, clinical audit, and from CQC through our examples of notable practice. These are messages you will have hopefully heard before, but they certainly bear repeating.

RDSPB model for quality improvement across the dental sector

As a Board we now want to see where this work is being picked up. At a stakeholder event in September we heard from the British Dental Association and the Faculty of General Dental Practice on the subject of quality improvement. It was great to hear their views and support for the model and we will continue to work together to embed the approach. We want to hear from you about whether this work is beginning to embed in your local area. Please take a couple of minutes to fill out this short survey.

Recently, the Board also produced a joint working protocol, which CQC signed along with NHS England and the General Dental Council, so that our organisations can work more effectively together and reduce duplication. It encourages information to be shared more routinely which, in turn, improves the intelligence of each organisation, avoids duplication and provides a mechanism for improved communication between organisations.

Next phase of regulation

Please do follow any updates from CQC in the run up to April 2018. The changes we want to make aren’t wholesale, and are a reflection of the fact that as a sector, dentistry is performing well. I do however want to reassure you that we will continue to regularly communicate with the sector about our approach.

Have a great month everyone.


Last updated:
13 December 2017


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