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Inspection Summary


Overall summary & rating

Updated 1 September 2016

We carried out an announced comprehensive inspection on 26 July 2016 to ask the practice the following key questions; Are services safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led?

Our findings were:

Are services safe?

We found that this practice was providing safe care in accordance with the relevant regulations.

Are services effective?

We found that this practice was providing effective care in accordance with the relevant regulations.

Are services caring?

We found that this practice was providing caring services in accordance with the relevant regulations.

Are services responsive?

We found that this practice was providing responsive care in accordance with the relevant regulations.

Are services well-led?

We found that this practice was providing well-led care in accordance with the relevant regulations.

Background

Hatfield Dental is a dental practice situated in the centre of Hatfield, Hertfordshire. They offer general dental treatment to adults and children either on the NHS of funded privately.

The premises is situated in a pedestrianised area of Hatfield in a first floor unit of a commercial area, accessed by an external staircase. For this reason it is not suitable for patients that cannot manage a flight of stairs: however Hatfield Dental has a sister practice a small distance away with ground floor access.

The practice has three treatment rooms, a reception and waiting area, kitchen and office as well as a dedicated decontamination facility. Decontamination is the process by which contaminated dental instruments are cleaned, inspected, sterilised and packaged ready for use again.

The principal dentist is the registered manager. A registered manager is a person who is registered with the Care Quality Commission to manage the service. Like registered providers, they are ‘registered persons’. Registered persons have legal responsibility for meeting the requirements in the Health and Social Care Act 2008 and associated Regulations about how the practice is run.

We received feedback from patients who use the practice in the form of comment cards that were made available at the practice before our inspection. 18 patients provided feedback in this way and reported a wholly positive experience at the practice.

Our key findings were

  • The practice was visibly clean and clutter free.

  • Patients reported that staff were caring and considerate, and were able to put nervous patients at ease.

  • Infection control standards met national guidance.

  • A new patient appointment could usually be secured within a week, and in an emergency the practice would endeavour to see patients on the day they contacted.

  • The practice offered Saturday appointments to allow flexibility to those who had commitments during normal working hours.

  • The practice had emergency medicines and equipment in line with national guidelines.

  • The clinicians used nationally recognised guidelines in the care and treatment of patients.

There were areas where the provider could make improvements and should:

  • Review the practice’s sharps procedures giving due regard to the Health and Safety (Sharp Instruments in Healthcare) Regulations 2013.

  • Review the availability of an interpreter service for patients who do not speak English as their first language.
Inspection areas

Safe

No action required

Updated 1 September 2016

We found that this practice was providing safe care in accordance with the relevant regulations.

The practice had emergency medicines and equipment in line with national guidance. Where only a single dose of a particular medicine was available the practice immediately purchased more.

Infection control standards met those outlined in the ‘Health Technical Memorandum 01-05 (HTM 01-05): Decontamination in primary care dental practices.’ published by the Department of Health.

The practice completed appropriate pre-employment checks on all new staff, ensuring that they were employing fit and proper persons

Effective

No action required

Updated 1 September 2016

We found that this practice was providing effective care in accordance with the relevant regulations.

Staff were appropriately registered in their roles, and had access to ongoing training and support.

Dentists used nationally recognised guidance in the care and treatment of patients.

The practice carried out a comprehensive screening of the oral condition as well as soft tissues of the face and neck.

Staff demonstrated a good understanding of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) and it’s relevance in obtaining consent for patients who may lack capacity to consent for themselves.

Caring

No action required

Updated 1 September 2016

We found that this practice was providing caring services in accordance with the relevant regulations.

Patients commented that staff were friendly and considerate, they felt listened to, and were give a written treatment plan to take away and consider.

The practice demonstrated a good knowledge of procedures to keep patients’ confidential information private.

Concerns regarding patients being overheard in one of the treatment rooms were being addressed by the practice.

Responsive

No action required

Updated 1 September 2016

We found that this practice was providing responsive care in accordance with the relevant regulations.

Patients that contacted the practice and were unable to manage the stairs were directed to the sister practice a short distance away.

The practice demonstrated a robust system for dealing with complaints.

An access audit had been completed to investigate ways in which the service could better meet the individual needs of patients.

Well-led

No action required

Updated 1 September 2016

We found that this practice was providing well-led care in accordance with the relevant regulations.

Regular practice meetings offered an opportunity for staff training, to feedback any complaints or significant incidents, and for staff to voice issues with the management team.

The practice had a series of up to date policies and procedures in place to assist in the smoot running of the service.

The practice sought feedback from patients by way of patient satisfaction surveys, a suggestion box, and the NHS friends and family test.