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Reports


Inspection carried out on 28 January 2020

During a routine inspection

We carried out this announced inspection on 28 January 2020 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.

Background

Letchworth Dental Surgery is a well-established practice that offers both private and NHS treatment to patients. It is based in Letchworth town centre and has three treatment rooms. The dental team includes three dentists, three dental nurses, a hygienist, and reception staff.

There is no access for people who use wheelchairs as the practice is sited on an upper floor. There is parking nearby in local car parks.

The practice is open Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 5pm, Monday to Fridays

The practice is one of six owned by a company and as a condition of registration must have a person registered with the Care Quality Commission as the registered manager. Registered managers have legal responsibility for meeting the requirements in the Health and Social Care Act 2008 and associated regulations about how the practice is run. The registered manager at the practice is the clinical lead.

On the day of inspection, we collected 15 CQC comment cards filled in by patients. We spoke with the clinical lead, two dentists, and two dental nurses. We looked at practice policies and procedures and other records about how the service is managed.

Our key findings were:

  • Premises and equipment were clean and properly maintained and the practice followed national guidance for cleaning, sterilising and storing dental instruments.
  • The practice had systems to help them manage risk to patients and staff.
  • The practice had suitable safeguarding processes and staff knew their responsibilities for safeguarding vulnerable adults and children.
  • Patients’ care and treatment was provided in line with current guidelines.
  • Staff provided preventive care and supported patients to ensure better oral health.
  • Staff felt respected, supported and valued.
  • The system for obtaining patient feedback about the service provided was limited.

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

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

  • Review the security of NHS prescription pads in the practice to ensure there are systems in place to track and monitor their use.
  • Review the practice’s system for recording, investigating and reviewing incidents or significant events with a view to preventing further occurrences and ensuring that improvements are made as a result.
  • Review the practice's processes and systems for obtaining and learning from patient feedback with a view to monitoring and improving the quality of the service.
  • Review the practice's storage of dental care records to ensure they are held securely.