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Inspection carried out on 4 August 2015

During a routine inspection

We carried out an announced comprehensive inspection on 4 August 2015 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

Background

Staplehurst dental practice provides general dentistry, such as treating tooth decay and gum disease, and other procedures such as tooth straightening. The practice provides private services for approximately 1,000 patients in Staplehurst, Kent and the surrounding area.

The practice staff included a practice manager, a business manager, a dentist, a dental therapist and two dental nurses. Dental services are provided Monday 8am to 7pm, Tuesday 8am to 4pm, Wednesday and Thursday 8am to 5pm and Fridays and Saturdays 8am to 1pm.

The registered manager had recently left the practice and the new practice manager was in the process of registering with the Commission. 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.

We talked to five patients. They said that the practice offered an excellent service and staff were efficient, helpful and caring. All commented that staff always had time to spend with them. They did not feel that staff were pressured to complete procedures and staff took time to explain what they were doing. They said that staff treated patients with dignity and respect.

Our key findings were:

The practice was providing safe, effective, caring, responsive and well led care in accordance with the relevant regulations.

  • There were effective systems to reduce the risk and spread of infection. We found all treatment rooms and equipment appeared clean.
  • There were systems to check all equipment had been serviced regularly, including the suction compressor, autoclave, fire extinguishers, oxygen cylinder and the X-ray equipment.
  • Dentists regularly assessed each patient’s gum health and took X-rays at appropriate intervals.
  • The practice ensured staff maintained the necessary skills and competencies to support the needs of patients.
  • The practice kept up to date with current guidelines
  • Leadership and communication were central to practice values.
  • Patients were provided with information and were involved in decision making about the care and treatment they received. We observed staff to be were kind, caring, and worked hard to put patients at their ease.

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

  • Review the fixtures and fittings of the decontamination room.

Inspection carried out on 21 May 2013

During a routine inspection

We spoke with three patients who told us they were happy with the service provided. One patient told us "They're excellent, certainly better than any other dentist I had attended". Patients said they had not had to wait for long for appointments and there was flexibility in the way new appointments were offered. Patient treatment plans and costs were discussed and explained with them, another patient told us the service is "Very thorough, everything is always very well explained". Patients told us the clinic was always clean and the staff made their patients feel very comfortable and at ease.

Whilst patients told us they were happy with the practice, we found that some of the practice policies and audits were out of date.