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Inspection report

Date of Inspection: 16 September 2013
Date of Publication: 2 October 2013
Inspection Report published 02 October 2013 PDF

People should be cared for by staff who are properly qualified and able to do their job (outcome 12)

Meeting this standard

We checked that people who use this service

  • Are safe and their health and welfare needs are met by staff who are fit, appropriately qualified and are physically and mentally able to do their job.

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 16 September 2013, observed how people were being cared for and checked how people were cared for at each stage of their treatment and care. We talked with people who use the service, talked with staff, reviewed information given to us by the provider and took advice from our pharmacist. We took advice from our specialist advisors.

Our judgement

People were cared for, or supported by, suitably qualified, skilled and experienced staff.

Reasons for our judgement

The people we spoke with did not tell us anything specifically about the recruitment of new dental care workers. However, people we spoke with made positive comments about the staff. The comments were “Yes the staff are always friendly and helpful,” and “The dentist is professional and spends time answering my questions”. Comments made by patients in the practices comments book were similarly positive about staff employed in the practice.

We were told by the practice manager all but one of the staff had been employed for more than two years; most had been employed for more than five years. The practice manager was the most recent recruit. We looked at the files of two of the dentists in the practice as well as two dental nurses. In all these files we saw evidence of their current registration certificates as well as work done as part of their continuous professional development. We saw that all the dental surgeons had current valid Disclosure and Baring Service checks (DBS formerly CRB checks) and at least three forms of identification. The provider may wish to note that not all staff had a current DBS check as advocated in more recent guidance from the General Dental Council.

We spoke with the provider and the new practice manager about this. The provider told us that they had not carried DBS checks for other staff as they did not see patients on their own and that they had a risk assessment in place to ensure patients were safe. They also told us that guidance from the General Dental Council had been unclear about the requirements of DBS checks for all staff in a practice when they were considering their recruitment policies. We heard about and saw that the new practice manager had implemented a much more robust recruitment process to ensure key documents would be in place for future employees. They also told us they would immediately begin a process of ensuring all staff had DBS checks to ensure current guidance is followed. Throughout our inspection we saw that patients were not left alone with nursing or reception staff.

In the files we looked at we saw detailed curriculum vita (CV’s) that applicants recorded, these detailed a complete work history and where gaps in employment existed these were explained. Evidence from the CV and copies of training certificates attained before new staff commenced work with the practice demonstrated staff had skills relevant to their post and appropriate professional registrations.

We saw there were copies of job offer letters as well as contracts and terms and conditions of the post. Copies of occupational health assessments and inoculation certificates were in place for all clinical and nursing staff. The dental nurses we spoke with told us about their recruitment process as well as how they were provided with induction training before commencing their job. For example one dental nurse told us how they spent a period undertaking basic induction training and working alongside existing staff to ensure they were competent in their post.

The dental nurses told us their induction included safe working practices and their responsibilities regarding their new role including basic first aid and hygiene practices. We heard that an additional period was spent being mentored by more experienced nurses before supporting dentists alone. Routine performance appraisals and regular staff meetings took place to ensure staff were informed about best practice and the day to day operations of the dental practice. This ensured the practice staff were suitably skilled and knowledgeable about the services they provided.