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Inspection carried out on 10 November 2016

During a routine inspection

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.