Dentist Slammed Over Expired Medicines

Dental Practice Criticised Following CQC Inspection


A dental practice in Northampton has been criticised by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) after an inspection found a number of failings.

One of the biggest problems found at the DSE Dental Practice, which is run by Dr S Etemadi, was that emergency medicine kits were out-of-date.

Medication used to treat allergic reactions, which are a big problem for people sensitive to painkillers, was found to be a number of months past its use-by-date.

Sterile needles used to administer some drugs were also found to be out-of-date by a number of years. This put patients at serious risk of harm.

Cleanliness was also discovered to be an issue by the CQC, with infection control policies failing to maintain the high standards expected.

Communal areas were not cleaned on a daily basis and skirting boards, as well as flooring, were found to be unclean.

Staff at the dental practice claimed they did not know that the communal areas had to be maintained on a daily basis, even though guidelines are clear on this subject.

However, despite these lapses, the clinic was praised for its flexibility. One patient that spoke to the CQC claimed they were offered an appointment on Sunday because they were in such bad pain, despite it not being open on this day.

A statement released by the CQC read: "We have asked the provider to send us a report ... setting out the action they will take to meet the standards. We will check to make sure that this action is taken.

"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."

The CQC has been keen to stamp down on poor hygiene control in recent months, with a number of dental practices told to improve by the authority.

Expert Opinion
Like any area of healthcare, it is vital that high standards are upheld in dental practices in order to ensure the safety of patients is never undermined.

"While it is welcome that these issues have been identified and being tackled, attention has to turn to how they originally emerged and what steps could potentially be taken to prevent them from ever being repeated in the future.

"Any lessons which could be learned will be vital and could lead to an improvement in standards in other dental facilities."
Julie Lewis, Partner