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Care Quality Commission takes action to protect dental patients at Winscombe in Somerset

14 August 2014

The Care Quality Commission has taken urgent action to suspend the registration of Dr Nigel Smith of Woodborough Dental Practice, at Winscombe in Somerset.

The temporary suspension follows an inspection in July when inspectors found that patients were at risk of unsafe care and treatment. The practice had not taken sufficient steps to improve following an earlier inspection.

CQC has referred its finding to NHS England and the General Dental Council.

Inspectors found that the practice was failing to meet seven national standards:

  • Patient's privacy was not fully protected because records relating to patients’ care and treatment were easily accessible to people not authorised to view them.
  • Patient's needs were not always assessed and care and treatment planned and delivered in line with their individual care plans.
  • There were not appropriate arrangements in place to deal with foreseeable emergencies. There were not effective systems in place to reduce the risk and spread of infection.
  • Medicines were not administered safely.
  • Staff had not received appropriate professional development and training.
  • Patients were at risk of injury, infection and other risks detrimental to their health and wellbeing in this practice. The provider did not have effective systems in place to identify, assess and manage risks to the health, safety and welfare of patients who used the service and others.
  • Patients’ personal records including medical records were not accurate and fit for purpose.

Sampana Banga, CQC’s Head of Dentistry Inspection said:

“Following the evidence of our inspection we have taken urgent action to suspend the registration of Woodborough Dental Practice because we believe that patients may have been at risk of harm if we did not act.

“Dr Nigel Smith had not taken proper steps to ensure patients were protected against the risk of receiving inappropriate or unsafe care and treatment. He did not manage medicines safely, he had no risk assessments in place to ensure patients' safety when they attended the practice and the staff were not properly supported to maintain their skills and knowledge.

“People are entitled to services which provide safe, effective, compassionate and high quality care. We expect Woodborough Dental Practice to ensure that standards are met – and we will return in due course to check that it has made the improvements we require.

“We have to put the safety of patients first. If the practice does satisfy us that it has made sufficient progress – we will consider lifting the suspension. Otherwise we will consider using our legal powers further to protect the people who use this service.”


For media enquiries, call the CQC press office on 020 7448 9401 during office hours or out of hours on 07917 232 143.

For general enquiries, call 03000 61 61 61.

Last updated:
30 May 2017

Notes to editors

CQC has published a full report on the website here.

Where providers are not meeting essential standards, we have a range of enforcement powers we can use to protect the health, safety and welfare of people who use this service (and others, where appropriate). When we propose to take enforcement action, our decision is open to challenge by the provider through a variety of internal and external appeal processes.

We will publish a further report on any action we take.


About the Care Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care in England.

We make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care and we encourage care services to improve.

We monitor, inspect and regulate services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety and we publish what we find to help people choose care.