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Inspection report

Date of Inspection: 11 April 2013
Date of Publication: 11 May 2013
Inspection Report published 11 May 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 11 April 2013, observed how people were being cared for and talked with people who use the service. We talked with staff.

Our judgement

People were cared for in a clean, hygienic environment.

Reasons for our judgement

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

On the day of our visit the practice facilities were clean and well maintained.

During the visit we spoke to staff about infection control including cleanliness and decontamination of medical equipment and instruments. The practice had policies and procedures in place for the prevention of infection and staff were expected to read and be familiar with these.

The practice had a separate room for the decontamination and sterilisation of reusable instruments. This room had all the necessary cleaning and sterilisation equipment advised in the Department of Health (DH) guidance document on decontamination.

The lead dental nurse in the practice was also the lead in infection control. We observed the correct procedures were followed; these systems ensured used and contaminated equipment and instruments were cleaned, sterilised and fit for use.

We saw written daily records of the checks made on the equipment which would assist in the auditing of the decontamination processes. This would ensure vital equipment was in working order and that instruments were always sterilised properly before use. The provider may wish to note that one piece of equipment (a vacuum autoclave) did not produce a print out report. Whilst staff informed us of the daily checks they conducted, a written record (either manual or printed) would provide further evidence of this audit.

There was a light and a magnifying glass available and these were used to examine instruments visually so staff could check that they were clean, functional and remained in good condition.

We saw that all wrapped and sterilised instruments were date-stamped with a use by date. Staff explained to us that this stock was rotated and checked every 21 days to ensure no items went out of date.

We were told and saw evidence that annual service agreements were in place with the suppliers for the maintenance of the equipment.

The dental nurses were responsible for cleaning all equipment at the end of a working day and between each patient. The practice employed a cleaner who was responsible for cleanliness in the communal areas. The patients we spoke to told us they were happy with the cleanliness of the practice. One person said, “It is always really clean here. I’ve no concerns.”

All dental staff wore uniforms and were provided with protective equipment such as disposable gloves, aprons and masks. Staff told us that there were always plentiful supplies of personal protective equipment.