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Inspection report

Date of Inspection: 20 May 2014
Date of Publication: 17 June 2014
Inspection Report published 17 June 2014 PDF

The service should have quality checking systems to manage risks and assure the health, welfare and safety of people who receive care (outcome 16)

Meeting this standard

We checked that people who use this service

  • Benefit from safe quality care, treatment and support, due to effective decision making and the management of risks to their health, welfare and safety.

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 May 2014, observed how people were being cared for and talked with staff.

Our judgement

The provider had initiated and was further developing an effective system to regularly assess and monitor the quality of service that people receive

Reasons for our judgement

When we inspected at Lynbridge Dental Practice in September 2013 we received positive feedback about the service from people. However, we found that the practice was not meeting required standards in ensuring that effective systems were in place to monitor and manage risks in relation the quality of the service. For example, there were not always clear lines of responsibility in some areas. This had led to a lack of auditing in relation to ensuring safety and some necessary checks such as fire safety checks and drills had not been completed.

When we inspected at the practice on 20 May 2014 we found that improvements had been made. We saw that there was a contact list for staff which informed them which person had the lead in areas such as infection prevention and control, fire safety, and managing staff files. We spoke with all of the partners at the practice and six of the dental nurses and receptionists who worker there. We found that staff understood who was responsible for particular areas. Most staff told us that they knew exactly who to direct particular issues to and that they felt that the dentists were responsive.

At the previous inspection in September 2013 we had identified that there had not been a staff representative meeting for a year. We were told that these meetings between the dental partners and staff had previously enabled staff to feedback about the service and provide an opportunity to influence it, where appropriate. At that inspection we were told that the meetings had “petered out”.

During our inspection on 20 May 2014 we saw that a staff meeting had been held on 17 February 2014 and another meeting was scheduled for 19 June 2014. Minutes of the previous meeting showed that issues about staffing, training and safety had been discussed. We asked a dental nurse whether any suggestions made by staff were acted upon. They told us about one such improvement. We were shown the electronic chute which was used to deliver instruments from first floor surgeries to the decontamination room. Instruments were placed in a capsule before being despatched. We were told that dental nurses had suggested that instruments should be bagged before being placed in the capsule to reduce the risk of spillages and that this had been implemented. This indicated that the practice had been responsive to recent staff suggestions.

Dental nurses and reception staff said that they could approach the dentists informally to discuss issues. However, the majority of dental nurses and reception staff that we spoke also said that the increased frequency of whole practice meetings would be useful. They said that more meetings would allow staff and dentists time to focus on issues in depth rather than have brief conversations between appointments. We made the provider aware of this.

The practice had a suggestion box in the reception area for people to express their views about the quality of service and to suggest improvements. We saw that the practice had received positive feedback from people who used the service. Examples included the following: “Girls in reception incredibly helpful. Just waiting to see X (a dentist at the practice) who was highly commended for their care.” We discussed with the provider individual suggestions which had been made about possible improvements to the environment and facilities. The provider’s response showed that these suggestions had been fully considered.

We asked staff what could be improved at the practice. The most common comment from staff was a reduction in the number of appointments which over ran, thereby prolonging patient waiting times. We also saw a very recent feedback form from a person who used the service regarding the punctuality of their appointment. It should be noted that the provider had not yet had an opportunity to see or address that particular piece of feedback. We drew the feedback to the provider’s attention and spoke with them about the issue of punctuality and