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Inspection report

Date of Inspection: 26 September 2013
Date of Publication: 20 November 2013
Inspection Report published 20 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 26 September 2013, observed how people were being cared for and talked with people who use the service. We talked with staff.

Our judgement

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

Reasons for our judgement

People we spoke with confirmed the practice was always as clean as we found it at our visit. We saw in one of the patient surveys a person had commented; "clean facilities." We saw the communal areas, surgeries and decontamination facilities were clean and tidy and we found that people received treatment in a clean and hygienic environment.

The provider had an infection control policy in place. In addition, there were protocols and checklists in place for cleaning within the surgeries and the practice manager confirmed they checked cleanliness regularly and we saw this was formally recorded.

There were designated clinical waste bins in all of the surgeries and the decontamination room, and a clinical waste disposal arrangement was in place with an external contractor.

Staff had been tested for immunity to Hepatitis B, to ensure they were protected against the risk of contracting this infection whilst working at the practice. These measures showed that the provider sought to reduce the risk of people or staff contracting a healthcare associated infection.

The service followed best practice standards for dentistry set by the Department of Health in guidance known as HTM 01-05. This guidance tells dentists how they should remove infectious or hazardous materials from dental instruments so they are properly cleaned after every use. This is known as decontamination. We were told, and documents confirmed, that an audit of the procedures had been carried out in May 2013 and a legionella risk assessment had been undertaken in September 2013. We saw these were part of routine checks of the overall compliance with HTM 01-05 which had been introduced when the practice first opened. We saw that these had been used to produce scores and action plans to ensure on going compliance.

We asked the practice manager to explain the procedures staff followed when cleaning dental instruments and we looked at the decontamination room and equipment. The answers they provided and what we observed indicated they adhered to the processes laid out in the HTM 01-05 decontamination guidance.

We found that people were protected from the risk of infection because appropriate guidance had been followed. We saw the practice had a file of information about HTM 01-5 and there was evidence that staff had read and signed the policies, procedures advice and guidance related to infection control. It also showed that the policies were reviewed at least annually or as required to keep in line with changes in legislation and national guidance.

We found that staff wore personal protective equipment such as face masks, eye protectors, aprons and gloves when delivering care and treatment, and when cleaning dental instruments. People confirmed they wore protective equipment such as eye protectors when they received care and treatment. This showed that the provider helped to reduce the risks of people contracting an infection, and for example, their eyes from being inadvertently damaged during the course of dental treatment.