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Inspection carried out on 6 December 2017

During a routine inspection

We carried out this announced inspection on 6 December 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.


Bucklersbury Dental Studio is in Hitchin and provides NHS and private treatment to patients of all ages.

There is level access for people who use wheelchairs and pushchairs. The practice does not have its own parking on site. Car parking spaces are available in local car parks near the practice.

The dental team includes two dentists, three dental nurses, one dental hygienist and one practice manager who is also the receptionist. 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 38 CQC comment cards filled in by patients and spoke with three other patients. This information gave us a wholly positive view of the practice.

During the inspection we spoke with one dentist, one dental nurse, and the practice manager. We looked at practice policies and procedures and other records about how the service is managed.

The practice is open: Monday from 8.30am to 6.45pm, Tuesday to Thursday from 8.30 to 5pm and Friday from 8.30am to 2pm. The practice is open Saturday from 8.30am to 1pm for appointments.

Our key findings were:

  • Strong and effective leadership was provided by the principal dentist and an empowered practice manager. Staff felt involved and supported and worked well as a team.

  • The practice was clean and well maintained.
  • The practice had infection control procedures. There was scope to improve procedures to ensure they reflected published guidance.
  • Staff knew how to deal with emergencies. Appropriate medicines and life-saving equipment were available, with the exception of some items that were missing at the time of the inspection or had not been stored appropriately.
  • The practice had systems to help them manage risk.
  • The practice had suitable safeguarding processes and staff knew their responsibilities for safeguarding adults and children.
  • The practice had 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 asked staff and patients for feedback about the services they provided.
  • The practice dealt with complaints positively and efficiently.

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

  • Review the practice’s infection control procedures and protocols to take into account guidelines issued by the Department of 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 availability of equipment to manage medical emergencies taking into account guidelines issued by the Resuscitation Council (UK), and the General Dental Council (GDC) standards for the dental team.

Inspection carried out on 24 September 2013

During a routine inspection

When we inspected Bucklersbury Dental Studio on 24 September 2013 we found that people were given information about their treatment and were asked for their consent. One person who was visiting the dental practice on the day of our inspection said, �The dentist always explains whatever is required in lots of detail. My [relative] also comes here and has had extensive treatment. We always know what is required and how much it is going to cost.�

People's dental needs were assessed and their treatment was planned in accordance with those needs. One person told us, �I feel very much involved. I always have a clear picture of what I need and I get to discuss with the dentist what the different available treatments are. I have been given a written treatment plan that broke everything down with the costs and the timescales.�

The dental practice operated hygienically and used decontamination procedures that were in accordance with Department of Health Guidance.

Staff received appropriate professional development that was relevant to their role. The dentists and the dental nurses undertook continuing professional development that ensured they maintained their professional registration.

The provider carried out a range of audits to ensure the practice was operating safely.