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Inspection carried out on 8 May 2014

During a routine inspection

The purpose of this inspection was to find out the answers to five key questions. Is the service caring? Is the service responsive? Is the service safe? Is the service effective? Is the service well led?

The summary is based on our observations during the inspection; information we requested from the provider and information about patient�s experience of the service. We looked at fourteen patient records, spoke with eleven patients and spoke with the provider; practice manager and all five dentists and their dental nurses who worked during our inspection. We also spoke with the two receptionists and the dental hygienist.

Is the service caring?

The people we spoke with had been using the practice for varying lengths of time from more than twenty years to new patients using the practice for the first time. Those who had used the practice for a long time told us they were very happy with the service with two people saying they retained the same dentist despite moving some distance away. New patients told us the staff were; �Friendly�, �Very helpful� and �Very friendly and understanding� when they made initial contact with the practice.

After patients had been seen by the dentist they told us their treatment had been; �thorough�; �pain free� and �very good�. They told us they had been involved in decision making about their treatment and had received a treatment plan which they had signed to indicate their consent to their treatment and the cost of the treatment.

Is the service responsive?

We saw from appointment lists there were emergency treatment appointments available each day. Patients who arrived for emergency treatment told us they had been able to get appointments in a timely way and at a time which suited them. We heard how recall appointments were made in consultation with the patient and heard how telephone, text or email reminders were sent out to patients.

Is the service safe?

All staff at the practice had an awareness of the need to ensure children and vulnerable adults were kept safe. Staff had received training to ensure they were aware of the signs and types of abuse and had access to information about who to report concerns to. Planning for medical emergencies was carried out and appropriate emergency medication and equipment was in place and available.

Hygiene and infection control was routinely monitored with effective systems in place to ensure the practice complied with the Department of Health�s HTM 01 � 05 decontamination guidance document for dentists and dental practices.

General Dental Council (GDC) registration was checked as part of the employment process for dental practitioners, hygienists and qualified dental nurses. A disclosure and barring service certificate was also required as part of their recruitment. All staff received regular access to training and information updates arranged by the provider and other organisations to ensure they fulfilled their continuous professional development requirements.

Is the service effective?

The provider arranged for information to be available to all staff about clinical excellence in the practice. They had signed up to receive regular news letters from organisations such as the GDC and the British Dental Association (BDA). They received regular medical alerts from government agencies related to dental care and medicines. The provider had effective systems in place which had enabled them to achieve the BDA�s �Good Practice� membership; an indicator of a more effective service delivery. These included effective clinical governance, routine equipment maintenance and an ongoing programme of practice improvement.

Is the service well-led?

The provider had checks and audits in place which ensured their practice was managed safely. Regular staff appraisal and performance management ensured staff were supported to deliver good quality dental care and treatment. Record keeping was monitored routinely for quality and appropriateness. The staff we spoke with spoke positively about the support they received from the provider and the wider dental team and all showed a commitment to support patient needs.

Feedback from patients indicated a positive view about the practice and the staff who treated them. Where suggestions for improvement had been made we saw the provider made adjustments to the service or the environment where they could.

Inspection carried out on 24 January 2012

During a routine inspection

People we spoke with told us they were happy with the treatment they received at the dental service. One person told us �This is an excellent practice, I can not fault them in any way, they are very accommodating�.

People told us they were given clear explanations of the treatment they required and were always asked for their consent before they had their treatment. People were clear of what fees they were required to pay before they received treatment. We saw examples in patient notes where people had signed their treatment plan. These detailed their fee structure and what treatment they received during their visit.

People who use the service told us they received a prompt delivery of care. They told us if they needed an emergency appointment they were often given it on the same day, or within 48 hours after they requested it.

One person who used the service told us they were at the practice for their second emergency treatment and had now registered with the service. They told us they were happy with the treatment received and a friend had recommended them to become a permanent patient. Another person had moved away from the local area and decided to stay at this practice, even though it incurred extra journey time.