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10th October 2014

Tough love!

Family relationshipMany of you will have children of varying ages, and some of you will have experienced the trials and traumas of bringing up young people who think –

  1. They know better than you
  2. They can do what they like anyway
  3. All adults make rules just for the sake of it

In these situations, there is a process used by many adults called ‘tough love’. This consists of really, really punitive punishment to try to stamp on bad behaviour at an early stage.

However, not all parents sign up to this and another train of thought leads to support and understanding as an alternative process. Sometimes, one even finds parents acting ‘tough parent / good parent’ roles!

When it comes to CQC inspections and the standards which amount to ‘house rules’, it is tempting to take on the attitude of a belligerent teenager and stamp our feet. However, you will find that the CQC will take a tough stance in dealing with disruptive behaviour.

What’s tolerated?

Well, the simple answer is that there is very little tolerance of not meeting good standards of care. The following examples are taken from CQC inspection reports.

“In February 2013 the provider had not assessed the service against the government's guidance on decontamination of dental instruments (the HTM01-05 audit tool). In addition the provider could not demonstrate the effectiveness of the decontamination processes. During this visit we noted that the one infection control audit record available was not dated and that it was completed in pencil. This meant that this was not fit for purpose, as we were unable to establish whether it was finalised and when it took place.”

“Systems to reduce the risk and spread of infection were limited.”

“Treatment rooms were not sufficiently segregated into clean and dirty areas, and cleaning equipment being used were insufficient to prevent cross-contamination.”

“During our previous inspection in September 2013, we had noted that the provider’s complaints policy was out of date. It contained old contact details and the provider had not allocated time frames for formal responses to be made. During this inspection we saw that the provider had updated the policy and had allocated time frames for resolving patients’ complaints. They had also indicated escalation stages. However, the policy was not available to patients or the staff working at the practice at the time of inspection.”

“There were no arrangements in place to deal with a patient collapse. A resuscitation kit was found to contain an oxygen canister which expired in 1994.”

“In September 2013 the provider told us that practice meetings would be organised every eight weeks. Prior to our inspection in March 2014, in their progress report, the provider told us that staff meetings and appraisals were now recorded. However, at the inspection, no such records were available. Staff we spoke with told us that no formal appraisals, supervision or staff meetings had taken place. We saw that the practice meetings book recorded that the last meeting took place in May 2013.”

All these failures to meet standards resulted in further action, including notices to improve and future unannounced visits. However, what is worse is that all these quotes are now in the public domain and available to any prospective patient checking out a practice they might attend.

Good parent

Why not talk to an elder who will listen to your needs, and help you achieve excellence through support and continuous improvement - someone who is not judgemental and good at giving you a hard time? Quality Compliance Systems will always play the ‘good parent’ role and help you develop your practice in line with current standards and guidelines.

Dr John Shapter – QCS Expert Dental Contributor

Topics: Dentists

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