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Inspection report

Date of Inspection: 17 February 2014
Date of Publication: 2 April 2014
Inspection Report published 02 April 2014 PDF

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

Meeting 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 17 February 2014, talked with people who use the service and talked with staff.

Our judgement

Patients were protected from the risk of infection because appropriate guidance had been followed.

Reasons for our judgement

There were effective systems in place to reduce the risk and spread of infection.

Policies and procedures covered all areas of infection control from the decontamination process of the dental instruments, to the practice environment, staff uniforms and personal protective equipment (PPE).

We saw that the practice was clean and well maintained. In all the patient areas, including the examination rooms, the surfaces and floors were covered in easy to clean materials which allowed high levels of hygiene to be maintained throughout the working day. We were shown a cleaning schedule that was being implemented within the practice.The cleaning equipment was colour coded; this ensured that the appropriate cleaning equipment was used in the appropriate areas within the practice. We were told by the practice manager that the dental nurses maintained the surgery work surfaces and the cleaning staff performed the general cleaning. We saw that general and clinical waste bins were covered and that appropriate signage was used. We saw that clinical waste was stored safely in a locked container outside the practice, until collection on a monthly basis. We were told by the registered manager that waste was collected by an approved provider. This meant that the registered person was taking reasonable steps to ensure patients and staff were protected from the potential risk associated with waste products and cross infection.

We saw that the practice had a dentist who was the decontamination lead with operators who were authorised to operate the decontamination equipment. The practice had a dedicated decontamination room for the decontamination and sterilisation of dental instruments. We observed a nurse demonstrating the decontamination process undertaken to sterilise re-usable dental instruments. We saw plastic boxes of differing colours were available to store clean instruments. Each dentist was allocated a different coloured box which helped the dental nurses allocate the correct instruments to the correct dentist. A chart confirmed that the autoclaves used for sterilising equipment were tested each morning. The autoclaves had a digital log which was backed up on the computer to confirm the autoclave was working at the appropriate temperature. We saw that there were clear instructions on the wall explaining how to use the washer /disinfector. We observed a demonstration of the decontamination process. During the demonstration the nurse explained that they were protected from any threat of infection by wearing personal protective equipment including eye protection, mask, gown and heavy duty gloves. We were told by a nurse that each nurse takes responsibility for leaving the decontamination room clean and tidy after use. One member of staff commented “That infection control within the practice is good” and “The central sterilising process are very good.”This demonstrated that staff practised good standards of hygiene.

The decontamination room was clearly segregated into dirty and clean areas along with a separate area for staff hand washing. Hand washing technique posters were displayed at all the hand washing sinks throughout the practice along with liquid soap and paper towels. A good supply of aprons, gloves, masks and eye protection was available; ensuring that staff were protected during the procedure and high levels of infection control were being maintained.

In the treatment rooms we visited, clean and dirty areas were clearly marked. We saw that the registered nurses wore clean uniforms and that personal protective equipment (PPE) was available for use by both staff and patients, for example masks and eye protection. A separate hand washing basin, hand wash and sanitizer were used in the treatment room. Staff we spoke with were able to describe good infection control and hygiene practices before, during and after a consultation. This demonstrated that staff practised good standards of hygiene.

We were told by staff that Inf