The Care Quality Commission (CQC) published a report into Highgrove Dental Care (HDC) on 17 January 2020 in which they said the dental practice was not providing safe or well-led care in accordance with regulations.
In the report, the CQC said that HDC was effective, caring and responsive, but it did not comply with regulations on safety and governance. The CQC said that the Whitley Street practice needed to:
- ensure all premises and equipment used by the service provider is fit for use,
- establish effective systems and processes to ensure good governance in accordance with the fundamental standards of care,
- ensure recruitment procedures are established and operated effectively to ensure only fit and proper persons are employed.
Safety at Highgrove Dental Care
The CQC criticised some aspects of the safety at HDC:
The staff carried out manual cleaning of dental instruments prior to them being sterilised. We advised the provider that manual cleaning is the least effective recognised cleaning method as it is the hardest to validate and carries an increased risk of injury from a sharp instrument.
We noted that clinical uniforms were stored together with outdoor clothing.
An annual infection control statement was not available.
The provider did not have a recruitment policy and procedure to help them employ suitable staff.
…the rear fire escape from the first floor of the practice was compromised by garden waste, staff training was overdue for five of the six staff and emergency lights were neither tested nor serviced.
The provider did not have systems for appropriate and safe handling of medicines.
The CQC said that the practice had already provided evidence that they had addressed some of these shortcomings, and added that the risk to patients was low:
The impact of our concerns, in terms of the safety of clinical care, is minor for patients using the service. Once the shortcomings have been put right the likelihood of them occurring in the future is low.
Governance at Highgrove Dental Care
The CQC praised some elements of the practice’s governance, but also said:
We saw there were processes for managing risks, issues and performance but these were not followed which resulted in poor risk management at the practice.
Effective, caring and responsive
The CQC said that the practice treated patients with kindness, respect and compassion, delivered services that met patients’ needs and that dental professionals were up-to-date with current evidence-based practice.
The CQC issued a requirements notice on HDC requiring them to meet the relevant regulations, and the CQC say they are currently carrying out a quality review of the practice.
Highgrove Dental Care have been contacted for comment.