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Inspection report

Date of Inspection: 2 October 2013
Date of Publication: 1 November 2013
Inspection Report published 01 November 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 2 October 2013, talked with people who use the service and talked with staff.

Our judgement

People were protected from the risk of infection because appropriate guidance had been followed.

Reasons for our judgement

There were effective systems in place to reduce the risk and spread of infection. The infection control policy listed the dentist as the designated infection control supervisor. It included a protocol for the decontamination of dental instruments, wearing of personal protective clothing and equipment along with, immunisation requirements for staff.

There were daily checklists for infection control. These specified the tasks staff needed to complete at the start of the day, before, during and after treatment and at the end of the day.

Records we looked at showed that there was attendance at training related to infection control and staff we spoke with confirmed this to be the case.

We asked one of the nurses to describe how they prepared the treatment area for appointments. All debris and dirty instruments were cleared away and surfaces were wiped clean with disinfectant. Replacement plastic covers were then fitted to the light, hand pieces and chair head rest.

The dental nurse explained that used, ‘dirty’ dental instruments were scrubbed in the sink in the treatment room prior to be taken to the decontamination area. There were designated areas in this area for ‘dirty’ and ‘clean’ instruments. When they were taken to the decontamination area instruments were placed in the ultrasonic bath and after the cleaning process was completed they were examined under a lit magnifying glass. If all debris had been removed they were placed in the autoclave for sterilisation after which they were placed in pouches. The pouches were date stamped to be used within one year.

We saw that tests were conducted to check the integrity of equipment used in the decontamination processes.

The Department of Health issued guidance to dental practices in November 2009 in the form of the Health Technical Memorandum 01-05 ‘Decontamination in primary care dental practices’. It provided guidance for providers about achieving best practice in decontamination process including the installation of a designated facility for this. The dentist told us about their plans to upgrade the decontamination area and to segregate it from other activity. Decontamination processes were being carried out in the same area as staff drinks were made and cups washed.