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Inspection report

Date of Inspection: 10 December 2013
Date of Publication: 11 January 2014
Inspection Report published 11 January 2014 PDF

People should be cared for in a clean environment and protected from the risk of infection (outcome 8)

Not met this standard

We checked that people who use this service

  • Providers of services comply with the requirements of regulation 12, with regard to the Code of Practice for health and adult social care on the prevention and control of infections and related guidance.

How this check was done

We looked at the personal care or treatment records of people who use the service, carried out a visit on 10 December 2013, talked with people who use the service and talked with staff.

Our judgement

People who used the service were not fully protected from the risk of cross infection because the procedures in place did not meet with the requirements of the HTM

Reasons for our judgement

We looked at the procedures in place for the decontamination of surgical instruments. We found that the procedures did not fully meet with the requirements of the Health Technical Memorandum 01-05 (HTM). This is the guidance that all dentists must follow to ensure that their practice is safe and minimises the risk of cross infection.

We saw that decontamination of instruments took place within the surgeries, using an ultrasonic cleaner and then an autoclave for the purpose of sterilising. The HTM requires that instruments are submerged in water prior to being placed in the ultrasonic; however we were told that this was not happening within the practice. We were also told that there was no illuminated magnifier in place to check for soiling on instruments after the cleaning process, as per the requirements of the HTM.

Some checks were being carried out to ensure that equipment used in the decontamination process was working efficiently; however one test that is required to be carried out quarterly on the ultrasonic cleaner was not being done. Overall more needed to be done to ensure that the risks of cross infection were minimised and compliant with current guidance.

We spoke with dental nurses who told us about their cleaning practices between patients and confirmed that they had all the items they needed, including personal protective equipment such as aprons and eye protection. There was a policy in place to support staff in maintaining a clean environment and this included reference to hand hygiene and the management of clinical waste.

We saw evidence that autoclaves were serviced regularly to ensure that they were working efficiently. An audit of infection control had been carried out; however the audit had not resulted in action being taken to address the issues highlighted in this report. This meant that the audit had not been used to improve practice in relation to infection control.