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Inspection carried out on 19 July 2017

During a routine inspection

We carried out this announced inspection on 19 July 2017 under Section 60 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 as part of our regulatory functions. We planned the inspection to check whether the registered provider was meeting the legal requirements in the Health and Social Care Act 2008 and associated regulations. The inspection was led by a CQC inspector who was supported by a specialist dental adviser.

To get to the heart of patients’ experiences of care and treatment, we always ask the following five questions:

• Is it safe?

• Is it effective?

• Is it caring?

• Is it responsive to people’s needs?

• Is it well-led?

These questions form the framework for the areas we look at during the inspection.

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.


U Smile Dental Practice is in Luton and provides private treatment to patients of all ages.

There is level access for people who use wheelchairs and pushchairs. Car parking spaces are available in front of the practice, and road parking nearby.

The dental team includes one dentist, one dental nurse and one receptionist. The dental nurse and receptionist had very recently joined the practice at the time of our inspection. The practice has two treatment rooms.

The practice is owned by an individual who is the principal dentist there. They have legal responsibility for meeting the requirements in the Health and Social Care Act 2008 and associated regulations about how the practice is run.

On the day of inspection we collected 13 CQC comment cards filled in by patients. This information gave us a positive view of the practice.

During the inspection we spoke with all of the staff. We looked at practice policies and procedures and other records about how the service is managed.

The practice is open: Monday to Saturday from 9 am to 5 pm.

Our key findings were:

  • The practice was clean and well maintained.
  • The practice had infection control procedures which mostly reflected published guidance.
  • Most medicines and life-saving equipment were available in line with published guidance.
  • The practice had systems to help them manage risk, but was not always following the highlighted recommendations.
  • The practice had suitable safeguarding processes and staff knew their responsibilities for safeguarding adults and children.
  • The practice did not have thorough staff recruitment procedures.
  • The clinical staff provided patients’ care and treatment in line with current guidelines.
  • Staff treated patients with dignity and respect and took care to protect their privacy and personal information.
  • The appointment system met patients’ needs.
  • The practice had effective leadership. Staff felt involved and supported and worked well as a team.
  • The practice asked staff and patients for feedback about the services they provided.

There were areas where the provider could make improvements. They should:

  • Review the practice’s sharps procedures and ensure the practice is in compliance with the Health and Safety (Sharp Instruments in Healthcare) Regulations 2013.

  • Review the practices’ current Legionella risk assessment and implement the required actions taking into account guidelines issued by the Department of Health - Health Technical Memorandum 01-05: Decontamination in primary care dental practices and have regard to The Health and Social Care Act 2008: ‘Code of Practice about the prevention and control of infections and related guidance.’

  • Review practice's recruitment procedures to ensure that appropriate background checks are completed prior to new staff commencing employment at the practice.

  • Review the practice’s system for documentation of actions taken, and learning shared, in response to incidents with a view to preventing further occurrences and ensuring that improvements are made as a result.

Inspection carried out on 4 July 2013

During a routine inspection

When we visited U Smile Dental Practice on 4 July 2013, we were unable to speak with any people seeing the dentist as no patients were scheduled during the time of our inspection. However, we reviewed patient notes and looked at patient satisfaction questionnaires. These showed that people receiving private dental treatment were satisfied with the service. We saw from patient records that dentist explained people's options and provided information for them to make their own decisions on treatments.

The surgery had effective processes in place to ensure that treatment was delivered safely. All areas of the building were clean and tidy and there were infection control processes in place to ensure people were treated safely.

We observed information to notify people how they could raise any shortfall or complaints with the provider, if it were necessary. We also saw recent patient feedback forms showing high levels of satisfaction.