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Inspection carried out on 12 September 2016

During a routine inspection

We carried out an announced comprehensive inspection on 12 September 2016 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.


Benfleet Dental Centre is situated in a purpose converted building in Hadleigh, Essex.

The practice has three treatment rooms, one which is located on the ground floor and a combined patient waiting and reception area. Decontamination takes place in a dedicated decontamination room (Decontamination is the process by which dirty and contaminated instruments are bought from the treatment room, washed, inspected, sterilised and sealed in pouches ready for use again).

The practice is registered as an organisation. The principal dentist is the registered manager. 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.

Four dentists, four dental nurses, one hygienist, a practice manager, practice administrator and two receptionists work at the practice.

The practice offers NHS and private general and cosmetic dental treatments to adults and children. The opening hours of the practice are 8am to 5pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, 8am to 7.30pm on Tuesdays, 8am to 5pm on Fridays and 9am to 3pm on Saturdays.

This inspection was unannounced so we did not send comment cards for patients to complete. During the inspection we spoke with five patients.

Our key findings were:

  • There was an effective complaints system and learning from complaints, accidents and other incidents was used to make improvements where this was required.
  • The practice was visibly clean and clutter free and Infection control practices met national guidance.
  • There were a number of systems in place to help keep people safe, including safeguarding vulnerable children and adults, health and safety and fire safety procedures and risk assessments.
  • There were procedures in place for dealing with medical emergencies. Staff were trained and the practice had the recommended medicines and equipment.
  • Dental care and treatments were carried out in line with current legislation and guidelines.
  • Patients reported that the dentists and dental nurses were professional. Patients said that they received excellent dental care and staff were understanding, polite and helpful.
  • Patients were provided with detailed information to help them undertand their treatment and they were involved in making decisions about their care and treatments.
  • Patients consent was obtained before treatment was carried out.
  • The practice provided a flexible appointments system and could normally arrange a routine appointment within a few days or emergency appointments mostly on the same day.
  • There was appropriate equipment for staff to undertake their duties, and equipment was well maintained.
  • Governance arrangements were in place for the smooth running of the service. There were systems for monitoring several aspects of the practice to help improve the quality of services provided.
  • Patient’s views were sought and used to make improvements to the service where these were identified.

Inspection carried out on 5 March 2013

During a routine inspection

We spoke with two people who were using the service at the time of our inspection. Both said they were very happy with the care provided by their dentist.

They said that they were involved in decisions about their care, given clear information about the treatment options available to them and gave consent accordingly. All treatment prices were fully explained. They said that the dentist checked their medical histories at each visit. They said they would recommend the practice to others.

We also looked at patient satisfaction survey results, which revealed a high rate of satisfaction with the care people received at Benfleet Dental Centre. We observed excellent customer service, with staff treating people with respect and warmth.