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12th December 2011

The Importance of the Registered Manager within Primary Dental Services

Negotiating your way through registration with the Care Quality Commission can be both a complicated affair and one which makes you question whether you are in fact fulfilling all of their requirements. This article, where we consider in brief the role of the registered manager, is the first in a series of articles which will look at key points of the registration process and the key individuals involved.

The British Dental Practice Manager’s Association Chairperson, Amelia Bray, recently highlighted in a seminar the importance of the practice manager’s role in the CQC registration process.  The CQC as we are all well aware of, requires that there be in place a registered manager.  Should your dental service therefore have its own practice manager, then they are the ideal candidates for this position, providing they are suitably experienced and qualified.

Before considering the role of the registered manager, a dental practice needs to first consider if there is in fact a requirement for one to be appointed.  The answer to this depends on whether you register as an individual, an organisation or as a partnership.

  1. If registering as an individual provider, then you do not need a registered manager.  The only exception is if you are not in running your practice on a day-to-day basis;
  2. If you are registering as a partnership, then you must have a registered manager, but it can be one of the existing partners, rather than someone else.  That individual must therefore register with the CQC so that they are officially recognised as the registered manager;
  3. Simplest of all are the organisations, where there exists a pre-requisite for the appointment and registration of a registered manager.

Remember that the appointment and registration of a registered manager is separate to your registration as a provider.  It is not a case of one or the other, as depending on the above three rules, it could potentially require both: (1) provider registration only unless you are not in day-to-day charge and then it is both; (2) It is both; (3) It is both.

The registered manager is likely to be the individual who is either in day-to-day charge of the practice, or who is a very senior member of the practice team who takes on a considerable about of managerial responsibility.  A practice manager therefore makes an ideal appointment.

One of the first jobs a registered manager should do is become familiar with the 16 key Essential Standards of Quality and Safety.  The aim is to think about how you would ensure continuing compliance with the outcomes of these 16 key standards on a daily basis.  If you are not familiar with them, then it is imperative that you do so immediately.  In summary, they are:

Information and Involvement

Outcome 1:  Respecting and involving people who use services

Outcome 2:  Consent to care and treatment

Personalised care, treatment and support

Outcome 4:  Care and welfare of people who use services

Outcome 5:  Meeting nutritional needs

Outcome 6:  Cooperating with other providers

Safeguarding and safety

Outcome 7:  Safeguarding people who use services from abuse

Outcome 8:  Cleanliness and infection control

Outcome 9:  Management of medicines

Outcome 10: Safety and suitability of premises

Outcome 11: Safety, availability and suitability of equipment

Suitability of staffing

Outcome 12: Requirements relating to workers

Outcome 13: Staffing

Outcome 14: Supporting workers

Quality and management

Outcome 16: Assessing and monitoring the quality of service provision

Outcome 17: Complaints

Outcome 21: Records

The CQC will require that you demonstrate how each of the above outcomes are being continually met.  You must therefore consider the policies you have in place, the procedures being implemented, your records system, training (continuous) and management processes.  QCS Ltd is there to help you with the vast majority of this burden, by providing you with all the important policies and procedures you require to help you complete much of this work via their Dental Management System – available online and in hard copy format.  What is just as important is ensuring that all these outcomes are being achieved and that you have a system in place for monitoring it.  You are required for example, to notify the CQC of serious events, such as death or injury to a patient or member of staff, key changes in staffing at the practice (the notifications list is extensive, so please visit the CQC website: etc.   To do this, you must have efficient systems in place to monitor and record results which impact on the CQC outcomes.

If during the registration process you believe that you are not meeting certain outcomes, then you need to formulate action plans about how you will achieve compliance status.  Be honest at all times and do not state that you are compliant when you are not, as an inspection will reveal this. The registered manager has a legal obligation here to provide accurate information and to make timely notifications to the CQC in the event of certain events taking place.

In next edition of this series, we will take the above 16 Outcomes and give examples of what you should think about when trying to fulfil their individual obligations.

Topics: Dentists

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