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Notifying CQC, including interruption of services
A colleague recently experienced a severe flood in his dental practice which meant patients could not be treated for several days. Fortunately, their sister practice which was located nearby could accommodate patients and this meant that disruption was kept to a minimum and services were not interrupted.
What are the regulations?
Regulation 18 of the Care Quality Commission (Registration) Regulations 2009 states that registered persons must notify the CQC without delay, of any relevant infrastructure, equipment, premises or other problems that prevent or are likely to prevent them from carrying on the regulated activity safely and, in accordance with the essential standards of quality and safety.
Dental practices should have contingency plans in place, in case there is an interruption in services as a result of circumstances beyond their control. With winter upon us, extremes in weather or interruption of essential utility supplies may mean patients cannot be seen. If interruption of gas, electric or water supplies lasts longer than 24 hours then CQC needs to be notified. More uncommon situations which require CQC notification include any injury to a patient which has resulted in an impairment of the sensory, motor or intellectual functions of the patient which is not likely to be temporary. Prolonged pain resulting from dental treatment if for a continuous period of at least 28 days requires notification. Any events relating to staff in a dental practice which has involved a police investigation or any allegations of abuse to patients will also need notification to CQC.
Dental practices are legally required to inform CQC when there is a disruption to the service which may temporarily prevent them from delivering the regulated activity to patients.
CQC can be notified by the registered person or nominated individual using the online notification form or using paper forms if not registered with an online account.
If you are in doubt if a notification is required or if you can see patients at another location it is wise to contact CQC for further advice. Better safe than sorry!
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