Dentist Surgery Rapped Over Infection Control

A Dentist Has Been Criticised By The CQC Over Infection Control Failings


A dental surgery in Birmingham has been rapped by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) after infection control failings were identified in an inspection.

Although a number of standards - including respecting patients, care and welfare, supporting workers and auditing - were up to the required benchmarks set up by the authority, the CQC has now asked Nechells Dental Clinic to produce a report outlining how it will improve in the coming months.

One of the main areas of concern outlined by the CQC was that sterilising equipment meant to keep instruments clean for operations and check-ups were often not checked properly.

While records had been kept to keep track of when equipment was cleaned, not all printouts of this were available and could not be found by staff - constituting a serious breach under government guidelines.

Another issue found was described in the CQC report: "We saw that some equipment checks were completed and recorded by staff, but they were not always stored in a way that they could be easily checked or monitored.

"We asked if the completion of these logs were monitored by management. The practice manager was not able to confirm they were. This meant there was a lack of management oversight."

There was also, according to inspectors, the possibility that instruments could have been out-of-date, after it was found that equipment that had been cleaned and sterilised was not dated properly, meaning there was no way to track when it should be disposed.

However, cleanliness wasn't the only area where failings were identified. Some requirements relating to workers were not kept to by managers.

References for employment experience listed on CVs and applications of employees were never sought, meaning the staff members could have been lying about their qualifications, which could potentially put patients at risk.

The owner of Nechells Dental Clinic has now been asked by the CQC to improve, with another inspection inspected in the coming months.

Expert Opinion
Adhering to basic cleanliness guidelines is vital in ensuring dental patients are not put at unnecessary risk and also vital in preventing the spread of infection.

“Sadly, we see on a daily basis the terrible consequences patients are forced to endure as a result of dentists cutting corners or not following procedures that are put in place for a reason – to keep patients safe.

“We hope Nechells Dental Clinic takes urgent action to improve the areas of concern highlighted by the CQC and we hope the case acts as a reminder to all other practices about the importance of good record keeping and hygiene to protect patient safety.”
Lisa Jordan, Partner