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Inspection report

Date of Inspection: 23 February 2015
Date of Publication: 24 March 2015
Inspection Report published 24 March 2015 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 23 February 2015, observed how people were being cared for and talked with people who use the service. We talked with staff.

Our judgement

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

Patients were cared for in a clean, hygienic environment

Reasons for our judgement

There were effective systems in place to reduce the risk and spread of infection. We looked at the practice's policies and protocols concerning infection control, decontamination, surface cleaning and clinical waste disposal. We found these were relevant, up to date and signed by staff as read. We looked at completed check lists concerning cleanliness and infection control for the previous two weeks. These indicated appropriate measures had been taken to prevent infection. We also looked at records concerning the maintenance and cleaning of equipment used to clean and sterilise instruments, such as autoclaves, ultrasound baths and water lines. We saw these were checked daily and recorded. We noted the practice had protocols concerning the daily process of opening up and closing down of clinical areas, in addition to the management of clinical areas between appointments. There were also cleaning protocols regarding the cleaning of reception and waiting areas.

We sat in on a consultation with the patient's permission. We noted the correct personal protective equipment (PPE), such as visors, gloves and masks were used during treatment. We saw staff disposed of these correctly after each consultation and clinical areas were cleaned after each patient was seen.

We looked at staff records and noted staff immunisations were up to date, which protected patients and staff from the risk of exposure to relevant blood borne viruses (BBV), such as Hepatitis B. The consultation room had hand washing areas for staff to use and separate sinks with elbow operated taps for washing and rinsing instruments prior to sterilisation, undertaken in a separate decontamination area. The practice undertook regular Legionella risk assessments. Legionella's disease is caused by a bacterium found in contaminated water, which is potentially fatal. The practice also undertook regular audits of clinical environment cleaning to ensure that patients were protected from the risks of infection. The latest audit showed that the practice had achieved a 97% overall compliance rate in line with the Department of Health's Decontamination Health Technical Memorandum 01-05 (HTM 01-05). This specifies decontamination requirements for primary dental care. We saw the practice had devised and was working through an action plan in order to achieve best practice status.

The patients we spoke with had no concerns about the cleanliness of the practice or about the risk of infection. One patient told us, "The dentist's room is always spotless. I have no concerns at all". We noted that the completed satisfaction questionnaires revealed a high degree of confidence in the practice in relation to cleanliness and infection control.

We looked at staff files and noted clinical staff regularly undertook training and updates in infection control. The staff we spoke with were satisfied that they were adequately trained to keep patients safe from the potential risks of infection and disease.