We carried out an announced comprehensive inspection on 12 May 2015.
Start Smiling provides private, general dental services to patients of all ages. The team at the practice included two dentists, and a practice manager who supports the registered manager to deliver the practice’s administration and clinical governance systems. There are also four dental nurses, all working on a part-time basis on a rota. There are two hygienists and two receptionists at the practice. The practice is open Monday 9.00am to 7.00pm, Tuesday to Thursday 9.00am to 6.00pm and Friday 09.00am to 1.00pm.
The practice is housed in a converted residential property and is spread across two floors. There are three treatment rooms. The reception and waiting area are on the ground floor along with a dedicated decontamination room and patient toilet. The practice is accessible to patients with restricted mobility as treatment can be carried out in the ground floor treatment room.
One of the dentists 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.
During our inspection we spoke with two patients and reviewed 23 comments cards, which patients had completed in the week before our visit. All patients commented positively about the care and treatment they had received and the friendly, polite and professional staff. A number of patients commented on the discussions they had with the dentist about their care and treatment and how they felt listened to and were made to feel relaxed.
We found that this practice was providing safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led care in accordance with the relevant regulations.
Our key findings were:
- The practice provided a clean well equipped environment.
- Where mistakes had been made patients were notified about the outcome of any investigation and given a suitable apology.
- There was promotion of patient education to ensure good oral health.
- The appointment system met the needs of patients and waiting times were kept to a minimum.
- The practice had an accessible and visible leadership team. Staff on duty told us they felt supported by the leadership team.
- Governance systems were effective and there was a range of clinical and non-clinical audits to monitor the quality of services.
The practice sought feedback from staff and patients about the services they provided.