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Inspection Summary


Overall summary & rating

Updated 8 February 2017

We carried out an announced comprehensive inspection on 10 November 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

Apex Dental Care – Merrow is owned and operated by the Oasis Dental Care group The practice has three dentists and a visiting dentist who provides implants, two dental hygienists, three dental nurses, a receptionist and apractice manager. Two of the dental nurses are qualified and registered with the General Dental Council (GDC) and one is a student nurse. The practice opens at 8am from Monday to Thursday and closes at 7pm. On Fridays the practice is open 8am to 5.30pm and Saturdays 8am to 1pm.

Apex Dental Care - Merrow provides private treatment for adults and children. There are two dental treatment rooms; and a separate decontamination room for cleaning, sterilising and packing dental instruments. There is also a reception and waiting area.

The practice manager 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.

Before the inspection we sent Care Quality Commission comment cards to the practice for patients to complete to tell us about their experience of the practice, we also spoke with patients following the inspection. We received feedback from 16 patients who provided an overall positive view of the services the practice provides. All patients commented that they had experienced good care and that staff were very friendly and helpful. They also praised the practice in general.

Our key findings were:

• The practice had mechanisms in place to record significant events and accidents.

• The practice had effective safeguarding processes and staff understood their responsibilities for safeguarding adults and children.

• The practice had enough staff to deliver the service.

• Infection prevention and control systems were in place, and audits were completed on a six monthly basis.

• Patients were treated with dignity and respect and confidentiality was maintained.

• The practice kept up to date with current guidelines when considering the care and treatment needs of patient’s.

• Health promotion advice was given to patients appropriate to their individual needs such as smoking cessation or dietary advice.

• Patients felt involved in all treatment decisions and were given sufficient information, including details of costs to enable them to make an informed choice.

• The appointment system met the needs of patients and waiting times were kept to a minimum.

• Feedback from seven patients gave us a completely positive picture of a friendly, caring and professional service.

• The practice had implemented clear procedures for managing comments, concerns or complaints.

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

  • Review the practice’s protocols for X-ray quality and auditing of the X-rays taken giving due regard to the Ionising Radiation (Medical Exposure) Regulations (IR(ME)R) 2000.
Inspection areas

Safe

No action required

Updated 8 February 2017

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

The practice operated systems for recording and reporting significant events and accidents and staff were aware of whom to report incidents and accidents to within the practice.

A member of staff had recently been identified as the safeguarding lead and staff understood their responsibilities for reporting any suspected abuse.

Medicines and equipment available for use in a medical emergency were being checked for effectiveness. Medicines for use in an emergency were available on the premises as detailed in the Guidance on Emergency Medicines set out in the British National Formulary (BNF).

Infection control audits were being undertaken, on a six monthly basis. The practice had systems

for waste disposal and on the day of inspection the practice was visibly clean and clutter free.

Effective

No action required

Updated 8 February 2017

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

The practice demonstrated that they followed professional guidance, for example, issued by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). The practice monitored patients’ oral health and gave appropriate health promotion advice. Staff were registered with the General Dental Council (GDC). Staff records were complete in relation to recruitment and continuous professional development (CPD) and staff monitored CPD to ensure that it was kept up to date.

Patients told us that staff explained treatment options to ensure that they could make informed decisions about any treatment they received and records seen confirmed this.

Caring

No action required

Updated 8 February 2017

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

We observed staff being welcoming and friendly when patients came in to book an appointment. We received feedback from seven patients. Patients praised all staff and gave a positive view of the service; three patients who confirmed that they were happy with the service also said that occasionally there was an extended wait to see the dentist.

Patients commented that treatment was explained clearly and staff said that dentists always took their time

to explain treatment to patients. Patient records were stored securely and patient confidentiality was well maintained.

Responsive

No action required

Updated 8 February 2017

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

The service was aware of the needs of the local population and took these needs into account in how the practice was run. Patients had good access to appointments, including emergency appointments, which were available on the same day. Staff had access to translation services, if required. Patients were invited to provide feedback via patient surveys and the results had been reviewed by the practice and an action plan developed.

There was a clear complaints procedure and information about how to make a complaint was available for patients to see.

Well-led

No action required

Updated 8 February 2017

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

Effective leadership was provided by the practice manager. Staff had an open approach to their work and shared a commitment to continually improving the service they provided. The practice had clinical governance and risk management structures in place. Staff told us that they felt well supported and could raise any concerns with the principal dentist. All the staff we met said that they were happy in their work and the practice was a good place to work.