Updated 28 June 2023
We carried out this announced comprehensive inspection on 13 June 2023 under section 60 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 as part of our regulatory functions.
We planned the inspection to check whether the registered practice was meeting the legal requirements in the Health and Social Care Act 2008 and associated regulations.
The inspection was led by a Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspector who was supported by a specialist dental advisor.
To get to the heart of patients’ experiences of care and treatment, we always ask the following 5 questions:
- Is it safe?
- Is it effective?
- Is it caring?
- Is it responsive to people’s needs?
- Is it well-led?
These questions form the framework for the areas we look at during the inspection.
Our findings were:
- The dental clinic appeared clean and well-maintained.
- The practice had infection control procedures which mostly reflected published guidance.
- Staff knew how to deal with medical emergencies. Appropriate medicines and life-saving equipment were available.
- Safeguarding processes were in place and staff knew their responsibilities for safeguarding vulnerable adults and children.
- The practice had staff recruitment procedures which reflected current legislation.
- Clinical staff provided patients’ care and treatment in line with current guidelines.
- Patients were treated with dignity and respect. Staff took care to protect patients’ privacy and personal information.
- Staff provided preventive care and supported patients to ensure better oral health.
- The appointment system worked efficiently to respond to patients’ needs.
- The frequency of appointments was agreed between the dentist and the patient, giving due regard to National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines.
- There was effective leadership and a culture of continuous improvement.
- Complaints were dealt with positively and efficiently.
- The practice had information governance arrangements.
- The practice had some systems to manage risks for patients, staff, equipment and the premises. Improvements could be made in mitigating risks in relation to fire, and the use of the laser.
- Staff felt involved, supported and worked as a team. Improvements could be made to provide staff with formalised induction and appraisal processes.
Soliton Limited t/a Senova Dental Studios is in Watford and provides private dental care and treatment for adults and children.
There is step free access to the practice for people who use wheelchairs and those with pushchairs. Car parking spaces, including dedicated parking for disabled people, are available near the practice. The practice has made reasonable adjustments to support patients with access requirements.
The dental team includes the principal dentist, 3 dental nurses and 2 dental hygienist/therapists. In addition, they had a visiting orthodontic specialist, an implantologist, a dentist with special interests in endodontics and a sedationist. The practice has 9 treatment rooms although 1 is currently not in use.
During the inspection we spoke with the principal dentist and 1 dental nurse. We looked at practice policies, procedures and other records to assess how the service is managed.
The practice is open:
Monday from 9am to 7pm
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday from 8am to 5pm.
The practice had taken steps to improve environmental sustainability by using digital X-ray systems to reduce the amount of radiation released into the environment and digitalised patient care records to reduce paper usage as far as possible.
There were areas where the provider could make improvements. They should:
- Take action to ensure that persons employed in the provision of a regulated activity received such appropriate training, supervision and appraisal as is necessary to enable them to carry out the duties they were employed to perform. In particular, a structured induction at commencement of employment and an annual appraisal.
- Improve the practice's protocols and procedures for the use of lasers taking into consideration Lasers, intense light source systems and LEDs: guidance for safe use in medical, surgical, dental and aesthetic practices (MHRA, September 2015).
- Take action to ensure audits of radiography are undertaken at regular intervals to improve the quality of the service. Practice should also ensure that, where appropriate, audits have documented learning points and the resulting improvements can be demonstrated.
- Take action to implement any recommendations in the practice's fire safety risk assessment and ensure ongoing fire safety management is effective. In particular, ensuring that regular in-house testing of fire detection and emergency lighting equipment is undertaken.