We carried out an announced comprehensive inspection on 17 April 2015.
The practice has two dentists who are both partners. There is a practice manager and four dental nurses all working on a part-time basis on a rota. There is one receptionist at the practice.
The practice provides primary dental services to both NHS and private patients and the ratio is approximately 50/50. The practice is open Monday to Friday between the hours of 8.30am and 6.30pm. They are open on alternate Saturday mornings by appointment only for private patients.
One of the dentists who is a partner is the registered manager. A registered manager is a person who is registered with the Care Quality Commission to manage the service. Like registered providers, they are ‘registered persons’. Registered persons have legal responsibility for meeting the requirements in the Health and Social Care Act 2008 and associated Regulations about how the practice is run.
We spoke with two patients during the inspection. They told us that they were very satisfied with the services provided, that the dentists provided them with clear explanations about their care and treatment and that staff treated them with dignity and respect.
We viewed CQC comment cards that had been left for patients to complete, prior to our visit, about the services provided. There were 24 completed comment cards and all of them reflected positive comments about the staff and the services provided. Patients commented that the practice was clean and hygienic, they found it easy to book an appointment and they found the quality of the dentistry to be excellent. They said explanations were clear and that the staff were kind, caring and reassuring.
The provider was providing care which was safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led and the regulations were being met.
Our key findings were:
- The practice recorded and analysed significant events and complaints and cascaded learning to staff.
- Where mistakes had been made patients were notified about the outcome of any investigation and given a suitable apology.
- Staff had received safeguarding and whistleblowing training and knew the processes to follow to raise any concerns.
- There were sufficient numbers of suitably qualified staff to meet the needs of patients.
- Staff had been trained to handle emergencies and appropriate medicines and life-saving equipment were readily available.
- Infection control procedures were robust and the practice followed published guidance.
- Patient’s care and treatment was planned and delivered in line with evidence based guidelines, best practice and current legislation.
- Patients received clear explanations about their proposed treatment, costs, benefits and risks and were involved in making decisions about it.
- Patients were treated with dignity and respect and confidentiality was maintained.
- The appointment system met the needs of patients and waiting times were kept to a minimum.
- There was an effective complaints system and the practice was open and transparent with patients if a mistake had been made.
- The practice was well-led and staff felt involved and worked as a team.
- Governance systems were effective and there was a range of clinical and non-clinical audits to monitor the quality of services.
- The practice sought feedback from staff and patients about the services they provided.
There were areas where the provider could make improvements and should:
- Ensure that there is a system in place to check the qualifications and experience of locum staff when and if used.
- Establish an improved method of obtaining the views of patients about the services provided.