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Inspection report

Date of Inspection: 12 February 2013
Date of Publication: 7 March 2013
Inspection Report published 7 March 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 12 February 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

We discussed infection control with a dental nurse. We were shown the Infection Prevention Society infection control audit undertaken in 2012 by the Primary Care Trust. There was no action plan to demonstrate the action taken to address issues identified. The dental nurse discussed some of the action taken. There was no evidence to demonstrate that infection control audits were undertaken on a regular basis to ensure best practice was maintained. The practice manager was aware that a self audit was due and confirmed that this would be undertaken in the near future.

We were told that a cleaner was employed to work each day after the dental surgery closed. We were told that colour coded mops and buckets were not in use but staff had labelled the equipment stating in which area it could be used. We asked whether mop heads were disposable or laundered. We were told that mop heads were disposed of when they became worn. The provider may wish to note that colour coded mops and buckets were not available. Mop heads should be disposable or should be laundered at suitable temperatures to meet infection control standards. The cleaning records could not be found on the day of inspection.

We were shown a surgery cleaning log which staff ticked when they had completed the task. We were shown a list of tasks to be completed by staff at the start and the end of the day. The dental nurse confirmed that staff were fully aware of the cleaning tasks to be performed between patients but agreed to include this information on the surgery cleaning log.

From discussions with a dental nurse it was evident that dental water lines were cleaned to ensure that they were free from bacteria. This helped to reduce the risk of cross infection. We looked in the dental treatment room and saw that this was clean and clutter free. The people we spoke with told us that the dental practice was always clean and tidy.

We watched a dental nurse undertake a decontamination procedure. The equipment used to decontaminate used dental equipment was stored in a room currently used to take dental x-rays. We saw that personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, aprons and eye protection was used throughout the process to reduce the risk of cross infection. We looked at instruments ready to be used in the dental treatment room and saw that they were within their use by date.

We saw that the bin stored in the cupboard which contained used PPE and cleaning cloths, did not have a lid. This meant that materials that could possibly cause an infection control risk could spill out into the cupboard. The last infection control audit undertaken recorded that a suitable bin with a lid was required. The provider may wish to note that a suitable bin had not been provided for the storage of contaminated waste to reduce the risk of cross infection.

We were shown the equipment used in the cleaning and sterilisation of used dental equipment. Records of checks made on this equipment demonstrated that it was in good working order. A checklist seen showed that the decontamination room was cleaned on a daily basis and that equipment within this room was cleaned and checked by staff.

We spoke with a dental nurse about the policy regarding uniforms. We were told that full time staff had three tops that must be washed on a daily basis and only worn within the dental practice. We were told that trousers and shoes were provided by the staff. We spoke with the dentist about uniform. We were told that staff who were involved in the decontamination of used dental equipment must not wear any of their uniform outside of the dental practice. We saw that staff were smartly dressed in clean, short sleeved uniforms so they could wash their hands thoroughly to reduce the risk of contamination from clothing.