Watchdog offers dentists extra help
Health regulator, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), is extending its national contact centre’s opening hours and publishing new guidance on registration to help support primary dental providers preparing to apply for registration under new legislation.
The Newcastle-based centre will now open from 8.30am to 8pm Monday to Thursday, from 8.30am to 5.30pm on Friday and from 8am to 4pm on Saturdays.
CQC has also issued new guidance for the providers of primary dental services, which is available on its website or in hard copy from the national contact centre (NCC) on 03000 616161.
The new guidance provides more information on the application process, which has been refined following a series of pilot projects.
CQC is expecting applications from more than 8,500 providers.
Providers of dental services will soon start applying for registration with CQC with all providers to be registered from 1 April 2011.
Providers only need to apply for registration once.
Due to an expected large amount of applications, providers will be put into groups with each group given an application window within which to apply.
Services will be registered against the new essential standards of quality and safety that apply across the care sector.
The new system focuses on outcomes, the experiences CQC expects people to have, rather than on policies and processes. The aim of registration is that people can expect services to meet essential standards of quality, to protect their safety and to respect their dignity and rights wherever care is provided, wherever they live.
CQC director, Linda Hutchinson, say: ‘We appreciate that this type of regulation is very new to the dental sector and that people will have a lot of questions. We publish regular updates on our website, but we know that some people would prefer to talk things through over the phone. We want to make sure that our helpline is available to answer questions at times that are convenient to dentists, taking their working hours into consideration.’
She adds: ‘We’re also working closely with the General Dental Council to avoid any overlap in our actions and to minimise any potential regulatory burden for providers. Ultimately, our objective is to protect service users and to encourage improvement in the care people receive.’
For further information on the registration process, providers can sign up to CQC’s monthly e-update for health and social care professionals at www.cqc.org.uk/newsandevents/newsletter.cfm and join CQC’s provider reference group, an online community offering the opportunity to engage with our work through a variety of methods including surveys, discussion forms and polls.
Dentists can sign up by emailing [email protected]
The CQC will be writing to providers to advise what will happen next and about further action that needs to be taken.