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Stella Maris Practice Limited


Inspection carried out on 13 September 2016

During a routine inspection

We carried out an announced comprehensive inspection on 13 September 2016 to ask the practice the following key questions; Are services safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led?

Our findings were:

Are services safe?

We found that this practice was providing safe care in accordance with the relevant regulations.

Are services effective?

We found that this practice was providing effective care in accordance with the relevant regulations.

Are services caring?

We found that this practice was providing caring services in accordance with the relevant regulations.

Are services responsive?

We found that this practice was providing responsive care in accordance with the relevant regulations.

Are services well-led?

We found that this practice was providing well-led care in accordance with the relevant regulations.


Stella Maris Dental Practice Limited is a dental practice providing general dental services on a private basis. Additional services include implant dentistry and orthodontics. The service is provided by three dentists, three dental hygienists and one dental therapist. They are supported by six dental nurses (three of whom are trainees), a practice manager and a receptionist. All of the dental nurses also carry out reception duties. A clinical dental technician also visits the practice on a weekly basis to provide prosthetic dentistry. Another dentist visits the practice on an ad hoc basis to provide complex oral surgery.

The practice is located on a main road near local amenities and bus routes. There is wheelchair access to the practice and car parking facilities. The premises consist of a waiting room, a reception area, an office, staff room/kitchen two treatment rooms and accessible toilet facilities on the ground floor. The first floor comprises of a decontamination room, three treatment rooms and a waiting area. There is also a designated area for taking X-rays. There is also a basement which is used as a storage area. The practice opening hours are from 9am to 5:45pm on Monday to Thursday and from 9am to 1pm on Fridays.

The provider operates the practice as a limited company and is the sole director and registered manager. A registered manager is a person who is registered with the Care Quality Commission to manage the service. Like registered providers, they are ‘registered persons’. Registered persons have legal responsibility for meeting the requirements in the Health and Social Care Act 2008 and associated Regulations about how the practice is run.

Twenty-eight patients provided feedback about the practice. We looked at comment cards patients had completed prior to the inspection and we also spoke with three patients. The information from patients was all complimentary. Patients were positive about their experience and they commented that staff were friendly, professional and welcoming.

Our key findings were:

  • The practice appeared clean and tidy on the day of our visit. Many patients also commented that this was their experience.
  • Patients told us they found the staff polite and friendly. Patients were able to make routine and emergency appointments when needed.
  • An infection prevention and control policy was in place. We saw the decontamination procedures followed recommended guidance.
  • The practice had systems to assess and manage risks to patients, including health and safety, safeguarding, safe staff recruitment and the management of medical emergencies. We identified some areas of improvement.
  • Dental professionals provided treatment in accordance with current professional guidelines.
  • There was appropriate equipment for staff to undertake their duties, and equipment was well maintained.
  • The practice had a complaints system in place.
  • Staff told us they felt well supported and comfortable to raise concerns or make suggestions.
  • The practice demonstrated that they undertook audits in infection control, radiography and dental care record keeping.

There were areas where the provider could make improvements and should:

  • Review the practice’s system for the recording, investigating and reviewing incidents or significant events with a view to preventing further occurrences and ensuring that improvements are made as a result.
  • Review availability of medicines and equipment to manage medical emergencies giving due regard to guidelines issued by the Resuscitation Council (UK) and the General Dental Council (GDC) standards for the dental team.
  • Review staff training in safeguarding ensuring it covers both children and adults and all staff are trained to an appropriate level for their role and aware of their responsibilities. The practice should also review the training, learning and development needs of individual staff members and have an effective process established for the ongoing assessment and supervision of all staff.
  • Review the practice's recruitment policy and procedures to ensure character references, DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) checks and the assessment of related risks for new staff are requested and recorded suitably.
  • Review the protocols and procedures to ensure staff are up to date with their mandatory training and their Continuing Professional Development.

Inspection carried out on 19 February 2014

During a routine inspection

Our visit was discussed and arranged with the practice in advance. This was to ensure that we had time to see and speak to staff working at the practice, as well as people registered with the practice.

During the inspection we spoke with the principal dentist, one hygienist, three dental nurses, the practice manager and one person using the service. After our inspection, we spoke by phone with eight people who were registered with the practice to ask them about their experiences of the service.

The people we spoke with were all very complimentary about the service they had received. Their comments included, "I�ve never been so happy with (dental) treatment." and "Very, very professional, really warm and friendly practice."

Staff received a range of training so that they had up to date knowledge and skills in order to treat people safely when they attended the practice.

People told us that the practice was clean and tidy and that they had no concerns about hygiene. We found that the provider had effective infection control procedures in place. This meant the risk of infection for people using the service was minimised.

The provider had systems of audits in place to enable them to monitor the quality of the service provided. This made sure that people received appropriate care and treatment. People were asked for their views about the practice and these were listened to.