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Inspection carried out on 12 May 2015

During a routine inspection

Clock Tower Dental Practice is located in the London Borough of Barnet in north-west London and provides private and NHS dental services.

The practice team included one principal dentist, one dental nurse and one practice manager.

We reviewed seven Care Quality Commission (CQC) comment cards completed by patients and spoke with six patients on the day of the visit. Patients we spoke with and those who completed comment cards were very positive about the care they received from the practice. They commented that staff were caring, respectful and helpful.

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.

Our key findings were:

  • The practice assessed and managed risks to patients. These included infection prevention and control, health and safety and the management of medical emergencies.
  • Staff ensured patients gave their consent before treatment began. Dental care records we looked at were detailed and showed monitoring of patients’ oral health.
  • Staff had received training appropriate to their roles.
  • Staff were knowledgeable about patient confidentiality and we observed good interaction between staff and patients during the inspection.
  • The patients we spoke with and all the comment cards we reviewed indicated that patients were consistently treated with kindness and respect by staff. It was reported that communication with patients and their families, access to the service and to the dentists, was good. Patients reported good access to the practice.

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

  • Adopt an individual risk based approach to patient recalls having regard to National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines and ensure they are suitably recorded in patient notes.
  • Remove carpet from treatment area and substitute with covered flooring that is impervious and continuous, to allow for effective cleaning of the environment.
  • Look at developing a system to document improvements made following audits.
  • Ensure a practice adult safeguarding policy is developed in order to signpost staff who may have concerns.
  • Ensure a business continuity plan is in place to deal with foreseeable emergencies that could impact on the running of the practice.
  • Ensure staff receive performance appraisals at regular intervals.

We found that this practice was providing safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led care in accordance with the relevant regulations.