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Inspection report

Date of Inspection: 9 July 2013
Date of Publication: 20 July 2013
Inspection Report published 20 July 2013 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 9 July 2013, observed how people were being cared for and talked with people who use the service. We talked with staff.

Our judgement

People were protected from the risk of infection because appropriate guidance had been followed. People were cared for in a clean, hygienic environment.

Reasons for our judgement

The practice consisted of three treatment rooms of which two were on the first floor and one was on the ground floor. There was a decontamination room, and a reception and waiting area as well as toilets. We saw there were patient information leaflets that explained the care, treatment and choices available for patients that used the services.

During our inspection, the areas we saw in the dental practice were well maintained. The environment where treatments were carried out was clean and appropriate. We saw that policies and procedures for infection prevention and control were in place. During the inspection we saw that staff had attended training in infection control on a regular basis. We saw the appropriate application of required infection prevention and control procedures and techniques in place in the areas we observed.

There was a daily and weekly surgery environmental checklist in place which included checks for cleanliness of the environment and equipment and waste disposal processes. We looked at recently completed checklists, which showed that regular audits were taking place and actions were being taken to address any issues found.

The staff we spoke with understood the importance of infection prevention and control, including decontamination, and could clearly describe their own roles and responsibilities within this area. The lead dental nurse was the identified person with specific responsibility for infection prevention and control.

The dental nurse told us that preparations were undertaken prior to using the treatment rooms. The water lines in the dentists chair were flushed prior to use which ensured that the water was clean and fit for purpose. We were informed the treatment rooms were cleaned by the clinical staff between each patient using appropriate equipment to agreed standards.

Staff using the treatment rooms had systems in place to ensure that clean and used (dirty) dental instruments and equipment were kept separate in sealed containers. During our discussions with the dental nurse, we found they were aware of implementing government guidance on decontamination within dental practices.

The dental nurse showed us, and explained to us, the process for managing used instruments within the treatment room to ensure clear and separate areas for clean and dirty instruments. There was a dedicated decontamination room which had a clear pathway where contaminated (dirty) instruments followed to become clean. We were told that the dental nurse rinsed and washed the instruments manually and then checked for any debris under magnification before an autoclave was used to sterilise them to the approved level of sterilisation. Clean instruments were stored in sealed packaging and date stamped according to national guidelines. We saw there was a washer disinfector in place but was undergoing commissioning. The staff we spoke with had the required levels of competence and training in relation to these areas.

Validation of the technical dental equipment such as autoclaves and x-ray machines was in place and recorded on a daily basis. We also saw evidence of external servicing.

The practice had a policy in place to prevent exposure to blood-borne viruses. There was a supply of gloves, aprons, wipes, paper towels and hand gel available within the treatment and decontamination rooms.