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Inspection report

Date of Inspection: 27 March 2012
Date of Publication: 16 May 2012
Inspection Report published 16 May 2012 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

Our judgement

Overall the service was meeting this outcome. We found the provider has systems in place to help ensure the service is clean and people are protected from the risk of infection. However, to help ensure that this outcome remains met in the future, the service needs to carry out and record an audit of its decontamination processes at least once every three months.

User experience

People we spoke with said that the treatment room and all other areas of the practice always appeared clean.

Other evidence

We were shown the decontamination process by the dental nurse who had responsibility for decontamination of instruments o the day of our visit. Dirty instruments are cleaned with water and detergent, then go into a steam bath, and are then rinsed in water. They are then checked visually to see if they are clean. At the time of our visit the service did not make use of a magnifying glass to check for any remaining debris. The dentist informed us that they have ordered a magnifying glass, and plan to use it in the future as part of the decontamination process. After rinsing, instruments are put into pouches, before been sterilised in an autoclave. After this, instruments are sealed in their pouches, and the date of serialisation is written upon the pouch. We were informed by the dentist that all items will then be used within 21 days, and that any that are not used within this timeframe will go through the decontamination process again before being used. The autoclave is checked daily and after each cycle. In addition, the service had a certificate to evidence that the autoclaves in use have both been serviced within the past twelve months.

Treatment rooms were visibly clean. We were told that they are cleaned at the end of every day, and that they have a more thorough clean once a week. We were informed that the dental chair is wiped clean with disinfectant after each patient. Staff wore clean uniforms during our visit, and we were told that clean uniforms have to be worn every day. Records indicated that staff have received training in infection control issues.

The dentist informed us that they will do a check of the decontamination processes every two to three months, and will then address any issues with staff through staff meetings. However, they do not carry out a comprehensive written auditing procedure of the decontamination process, and this should be completed at least once every three months in line with Department of Health guidance.