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Inspection report

Date of Inspection: 9 July 2013
Date of Publication: 7 August 2013
Inspection Report published 07 August 2013 PDF | 79.28 KB

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 carried out a visit on 9 July 2013, observed how people were being cared for, talked with people who use the service and talked with staff.

We looked at treatment records.

Our judgement

Patients were protected from the risk of infection because appropriate guidance had been followed. The provider had a system in place that regularly monitored decontamination and infection control practices and standards.

Reasons for our judgement

There were effective systems in place to reduce the risk and spread of infection. The practice, including both treatment rooms, waiting area and corridors was clean at the time of our inspection visit. We observed the cleaning of the treatment room between patients and spoke with the dental nurse and dentist about cleaning procedures. The procedures were appropriate to reduce any risks of infection between patients. We saw all necessary personal protective equipment such as aprons, gloves and masks were available and in use when required in all areas of the treatment rooms and decontamination area. We saw records and schedules to show routine non clinical cleaning of the practice were completed.

One of the dental nurses was the lead for infection control. The practice had a central decontamination and sterilisation room. The nurse showed us how instruments requiring decontamination were processed. We observed instruments were appropriately transported to the decontamination room from treatment rooms in covered containers. There was a clear process in the decontamination room to ensure clean and dirty instruments did not come in contact with each other. The procedures demonstrated and described to us ensured instruments would not return to the treatment room unless they were suitable for use. Once decontamination and sterilisation had occurred all equipment was stored appropriately within treatment rooms. We saw evidence decontamination equipment was working correctly and regularly serviced. We saw records to confirm equipment used during decontamination and sterilisation procedures was checked daily prior to use, ensuring it met the necessary operating standards. Following sterilisation instruments were packed and dated prior to storage. This ensured equipment and sterilised instruments would be safe and suitable for use.

Infection control audits had been undertaken at the service. These followed the Infection Prevention Society guidance and covered a number of areas such as hand hygiene, instrument decontamination, general infection control and personal protective equipment. We saw where previous audits had identified areas for improvement action had been taken to achieve compliance. We saw infection control audits were completed every six months as per current recommended guidance. Staff were aware of relevant guidance concerning infection control in dental services, including the department of health decontamination in primary care dental services guidance. Discussions showed they were aware of recent changes in this guidance about the length of time sterilised instruments could be stored before requiring re sterilisation. Staff described how they had found suitable “washable computer keyboards” for use in treatment rooms to further reduce the risk of infection. There were appropriate systems and contracts for the safe disposal of clinical waste. We saw evidence staff had completed infection control training and regular updates had occurred. Staff were therefore aware of infection control issues and monitored how this was managed on a regular basis.