Updated 8 January 2020
We carried out this announced inspection on 10 December 2019 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.
The Dentist is a well-established practice that offers mostly NHS treatment to approximately 10,500 patients. It is based in Bishop’s Stortford town centre. It is one of five practices based in Hertfordshire, and of 16 owned nationally by the provider.
The dental team includes seven dentists, nine dental nurses, four hygienists, reception staff and a practice manager.
There is ramp access for people who use wheelchairs and those with pushchairs and a public car park nearby.
The practice opens Monday to Thursdays from 8 am to 6pm, and on Fridays from 8am to 5pm. The practice opens on a Saturday morning by appointment for privately paying patients
The practice is 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. At the time of inspection there was no registered manager in post as required as a condition of registration. A registered manager is legally responsible for the delivery of services for which the practice is registered
On the day of inspection, we collected 75 CQC comment cards filled in by patients. We spoke with one of the directors, the regional manager, the operations manager, the practice manager, two dentists, two dental nurses, and reception staff. We looked at practice policies and procedures and other records about how the service is managed.
Our key findings were:
- Patients were positive about all aspects of the service the practice provided and commented positively on the treatment they received, and of the staff who delivered it.
- Premises and equipment were clean and properly maintained and the practice followed national guidance for cleaning, sterilising and storing dental instruments.
- 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.
- The appointment system took account of patients’ needs.
- The practice took complaints and concerns seriously and responded to them appropriately to improve the quality of care.
- Staff felt respected, supported and valued. The practice proactively sought feedback from staff and patients, which it acted upon.
- There was strong and effective leadership and an emphasis on striving to improve.