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Inspection carried out on 16 January 2013

During a routine inspection

Ellerdale is a small private family run dental practice based in a private house in St Albans. Dr Barry Dytham, the provider, is the primary dentist at the practice. Treatment is provided to children under an NHS contract. There is also a part time dental hygienist at the practice. The practice has been established for many years and it was clear from our observations that people really enjoyed coming to the practice. Staff and people who attended the practice were on first name terms and it was apparent that people were relaxed in the surroundings.

People who used the service told us that they were always kept informed of treatment options and that Dr Dytham usually gave them a diagram to illustrate the treatment they were receiving. This helped inform people to make choices about what course of treatment to have. There was a price list and a leaflet with all the current information relating to the surgery.

We observed that people's privacy and dignity was respected during their discussions with the staff and when they were in the surgery. Staff told us that they were able to tell us how they made special arrangements to assist individuals with reduced mobility in the surgery located on the ground floor.

We identified that were effective systems in place to reduce the risk and spread of infection.

Dr Dytham told us that he and practice staff had current registrations with the General Dental Council and had regular contact and received updates from the GDC.