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Inspection report

Date of Inspection: 20 June 2013
Date of Publication: 19 July 2013
Inspection Report published 19 July 2013 PDF | 84.93 KB

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 20 June 2013, observed how people were being cared for and talked with people who use the service. We talked with staff.

Our judgement

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

Reasons for our judgement

Patients told us they always found the practice clean and had no concerns over the cleanliness or infection control. One patient told us in relation to cleanliness they had "No concerns, none at all".

Records showed that the practice had policies and procedures in place to manage cleanliness and infection control. The policies had been signed and dated to show when the detail was agreed and a review date was evident. We saw protocols for needle stick injuries, blood and mercury spillage which provided the dental team with concise and detailed guidance how to manage these situations if required.

The practice had an induction programme in place which ensured that all new staff understood the practice infection control procedures. The practice had not had any new staff for some time. All clinical members of the dental team had annual training in infection control. Staff we spoke with told us they had been trained in infection control and they had updated their knowledge through continuing professional development (CPD).

Records showed that regular cleaning routines were in place and we observed that good standards of hygiene were being achieved. For example, in respect of hand hygiene, instrument decontamination and sterilisation, general infection control and the use of personal protective equipment. Patients told us the treatment rooms were very clean and that the dental team always wear gloves and protective clothing.

There was a system in place to ensure that reusable items of equipment were only used for one patient before being reprocessed by being decontaminated and sterilised. There was specialised equipment to undertake this reprocessing and records showed this operation had been completed correctly.

Sterilised equipment and used items were kept separately. Clean instruments were stored in hygienic conditions to reduce the risk of recontamination. In the main treatment room instruments were bagged and dated correctly after cleaning. However, the provider might wish to note in another treatment room which was used less frequently, we found a number of instruments that were not bagged or dated correctly. On the day of the inspection the provider provided us with an explanation regarding a fault with the necessary equipment to complete this task on one occasion. The fault had been promptly addressed and action was taken to rectify the situation regarding the cleaning of these instruments. The provider told us they did not believe patient safety had been compromised.

There was a system in place for safely handling, storing and disposing of clinical waste so that it was unlikely to result in cross contamination.

The dental team followed good hygiene practices. These included wearing clean uniforms, washing their hands thoroughly and using personal protective equipment such as disposable gloves, aprons and face masks.

There were procedures to help ensure the water used in the practice complied with purity standards. A log book showed monthly checks had been completed to ensure that no special measures were needed to be taken to guard against legionnaire's disease.