Dental Survey Findings 'Must Be Acted Upon'

Department Of Health Publishes New Survey


New research which reveals that a number of dental practices are failing to decontaminate instruments to the correct standard must lead to changes, a medical lawyer has demanded.

The Department of Health’s new Dental National Decontamination Survey revealed that approximately 12 per cent of practices were failing to reach a satisfactory standard, which means some patients could be at risk of infection.

The study also suggested instrument cleaning was generally “uneven”, with problems emerging in relation to washers and the testing of equipment, among other issues.

Jennifer Emerson, who specialises in dental negligence for Irwin Mitchell, said: “Like any other medical procedure, good hygiene and the use of sterile instruments in dental cases is vital to ensure all patients receive safe and appropriate treatment.”

“However, this research suggests that many people are not being given access to the right standard of care and may be at risk of cross infection from other patients or the treating dental team”.

“It is vital that the findings of this report are acted on quickly to ensure patient safety.”