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Inspection carried out on 11 September 2014

During a routine inspection

The purpose of this inspection was to find out answers to five key questions. Is the practice safe? Is the practice effective? Is the practice caring? Is the practice responsive? And Is the practice well-led?

Below is a summary of what we found. The summary is based on our observations during the inspection when we sought information about patient’s experiences and gained views from patients, the staff who supported them and from looking at records.

We spoke with six patients on the day of our visit. They described staff in the practice as “friendly and pleasant to talk to”, having a “kind and positive attitude” and being “courteous”. One patient said “I think they are brilliant” and another said the practice is “outstanding”. This patient told us they had remained registered with the practice in spite of having moved a considerable distance away.

We spoke with the practice manager, dentists, self-employed hygienist, dental therapist and dental technician. In addition we spoke to the reception team of three staff and five dental nurses including the trainee and senior practice nurse. Staff described the practice as “friendly”. They spoke about the good team working and positive relationships in the staff group. We sat with a group of staff who were having lunch together. There was good conversation and interaction in the group. One of the receptionists referred to the “nice working environment”.

Is it safe?

Staff had training in safeguarding vulnerable adults and child protection. The dentists followed approved guidelines in relation to the frequency of appointments use of antibiotics and in relation to the provision of conscious sedation. Guidance had been followed in respect of infection control and the decontamination of dental instruments.

Is it effective?

Patients were supported by staff who were suitably trained. We saw records which showed staff received appropriate training and continuing professional development. The practice manager had devised an action plan that included carrying out audits to ensure consistency in record keeping, infection control and the quality of x-rays.

Is it caring?

Patients told us they were happy with the treatment they received. They told us the dentist always explained treatment options to them and offered choice.

Is it responsive?

The practice was committed to ensuring the welfare and safety of patients. Staff told us they would report any suspicions of abuse. A patient told us they had an appointment on the same day as they contacted the practice for emergency treatment. The practice was accessible to patients who used wheelchairs. There were arrangements in place to deal with medical emergencies. Patients were consulted about their treatment and the practice took notice of the response to surveys. Actions arising from an independent audit of the practice had been addressed.

Is it well led?

Staff told us they felt supported. Meetings were held and there was a system for staff appraisal. This enabled the practice manager to ensue that staff were working according to the practice policies and procedures and to ensure staff development. This meant patients would receive a consistent service. Patient records showed the practice took care to ensure all treatment processes were recorded.