CQC shuts down its first dental practice

A dental practice has been shut down after failing to comply with vital safety standards.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has cancelled a Dudley dental practice’s registration after it failed to comply with the essential standards of quality and safety.

This is the first time CQC has taken this action against a dental service and means the Smile Dental Clinic in Embankment, Brierley Hill, Dudley, can no longer legally operate.

An unannounced inspection took place at the clinic, in November 2011, when the provider was found to be failing to meet all of the four essential standards of care and safety assessed.

The inspection took place following concerns raised with CQC by Dudley PCT.

CQC had major concerns with three of the areas it assessed, the care and welfare of people, cleanliness and infection control and records, while in the fourth, respecting and involving people who use services, there were moderate concerns.

Providers of care services have a legal responsibility to make sure they are meeting all essential standards of quality and safety and standards at the Smile Dental Clinic were falling short of what people should have been able to expect.

During the visit, inspectors found there were gaps in records relating to patients, medicines were out of date and the area used for sterilising dental instruments was in the kitchen.

Used instruments were in a sink and, inspectors were told, these had been there since the last patient was seen two to three weeks previously.

The autoclave machine, used for sterilising instruments, was not working at the time of the inspection.

CQC asked to see patient records but not all of them could be located. Inspectors were told missing documents could be in the dentist’s car and one person’s records were found in a file belonging to a different patient.

Meanwhile, when inspectors were shown audits for infection control, records and patient safety these were dated 2010 and related to another surgery the dentist had worked at.

Training records for a dental nurse were also unavailable so it was not possible to ensure the nurse had received all the relevant training updates or that this person had the relevant skills and knowledge to meet people’s needs.

Following this inspection CQC used its legal powers to cancel the clinic’s registration.

Andrea Gordon, deputy director of operations (Central Region) for CQC, said: ‘The failings we witnessed at the Smile Dental Clinic were completely unacceptable. CQC took swift action following its inspection to ensure the safety and wellbeing of people receiving this service

‘Taking action which could lead to the closure of any service is not something that we take lightly, but when we find poor practice, as we did in this case, we have no choice but to take action to protect the safety and welfare of people.

‘This sends a strong public message that we will not hesitate to take tough action if a provider fails to meet the standards for care that everyone has the right to expect.’

On 2 April 2012, CQC served a Notice of Decision under the Health and Social Care Act 2008 to remove the Smile Dental Clinic, at 293 Embankment, Brierley Hill, Dudley, West Midlands, from the providers’ conditions of registration. Mr Seyed Jalal Mir Haghgouy Jalali is no longer registered to operate a dental clinic from 293  Embankment.

Providers of dental services have had to be registered with CQC since 1 April 2011.

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