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  • David Bradley

Lancs & S.Cumbria Dental Advisor's Spring Newsletter: thoughts on our recent CQC Inspection


I work, part time, as clinical supervisor for final year dental students in the training practice in Blackpool. The training practice owned by a small corporate has 5 surgeries.

The practice is located in a new health centre that is managed by the doctors who occupy most of the building.

We have recently had our CQC inspection and I want to recount some of the issues that arose as a result of the visit. This may help anyone is due a visit soon to put in place those items that we didn’t think of but the CQC were keen on.

Our practice manager and staff have been preparing for a while to ensure that all policies and requirements were up to date and that all in the practice had signed up to them.

The pressure intensified once the PM had been informed of the date of the inspection, which was two weeks notice. However on the day the practice was ready and ready for presentation. A good tidy up made quite an impression when I walked in on the morning of the inspection.

The CQC team were a CQC inspector and a dental adviser. There was a CQC observer as well.

The inspectors were very thorough and these were the main areas that they looked at. The CQC inspector was much more officious than the dental adviser.

Mental Capacity Act - be prepared to be quizzed on this, and that could be anyone in the practice. One of our students was even asked about it!

Radiation protection – Check that you list all the people that can’t take x rays as well as those who can.

Cross infection – one of the staff was asked to demonstrate our process and records.

Medical Emergencies – they were looking for all your emergency drugs and kit to be in one box, rather than separate containers. This begged the question that such a box would be quite heavy and we would have to look at something that was on wheels so that it could be moved around the practice easily and quickly.

Staff Training – using a training matrix that shows all the training activity of your staff. They also wanted to see the records to back it up. It was suggested that any training is staggered over the year on a monthly basis.

Fire and Risk assessments – Need to be evidenced. In the health centre, this is done collectively by the centre management. However you need to make sure you a copy of those assessments, documentation and service contracts in your practice packs.

Patient Satisfaction Surveys – The CQC were interested in how the practice fed back the information gathered in a survey, not just that a survey is undertaken. This is done by a poster in the waiting area listing any changes that were requested and if they couldn’t be implemented why they could not be implemented.

Clinical, special and hazardous waste – Ensure that you have all your collection notes for the relevant period and that you have copies of any contracts with providers.

Generally ensure that you have all the evidence that is required to demonstrate that you are complying with requirements.

A few points that were raised during the visit.

Buy some cheap reading glasses, various strengths, so that patients who forget their own glasses and be offered a pair to use if they have read or sign anything.

If you have a separate consent policy and a Gillick competency policy you need to combine them into one policy document.

It was required that each surgery had suitable demonstration models for all types of treatments offered. This I felt was a little bit too much as a shared set of suitable demonstration models would be more than adequate. I think you have to go with this one as you think fit. I actually wonder if the CQC know how much these models cost?

Our practice manager has a two page statement of purpose and the CQC said it could be longer. Again I would review your own statement of purpose and if you feel it covers all that is required and is succinct stick with it because you will be racking your brains as to what else you need to put.

Generally the visit wasn’t bad, I know it is stressful and it’s a relief when its over and especially when you get the report and all is compliant. Don’t be reluctant to put a bit of preparation and review time in before the visit and all should be well.

David Bradley BDS

Dental Adviser NHS Lancs and South Cumbria


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