Well done dentists! The Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) latest report on services has good things to say about the practice in dentistry. In fact, the paragraphs on dentistry are headed: PRIMARY DENTAL CARE: A RELATIVELY LOW RISK ENVIRONMENT!
The State of Health and Adult Social Care in England 2013/14, has a detailed breakdown on the quality of care provided across 10,000 dental practices. It states: “The primary dental care system in England is still getting used to the regulation that CQC brings to their work. The last three years of inspections have shown us that the vast majority of dental care provided in England is of high quality. But local dentists, which are usually run as small businesses, also face financial and organisational challenges, along with the appearance and increasing visibility of large chains of dental surgeries and dental care provided by high street names.”
They continue, however, on a positive note. By the end of 2013/14, they had inspected almost all of the 10,000 dental practices they regulate and found: “95% met the standards we inspected. Our inspections of primary care dental services have identified that, compared with the other sectors we regulate, dental services present a lower risk to patients’ safety.”
Where they do have concerns, these mostly relate to the safety of services – usually around infection prevention and control – and how the provider ensures that the right systems and staff training are in place to protect patients from abuse.
On the other hand, they say: “Where we have found concerns, providers have acted quickly to rectify them. In the majority of cases where our inspectors re-visited the service, they found their concerns had been addressed. This is demonstrated by the low number of warning notices we have served.”
The British Dental Association (BDA) has described the CQC’s latest report as a ‘ringing endorsement’ for good practice in dentistry. John Milne, chair of the BDA’s General Dental Practice Committee, said: “The latest CQC report represents another ringing endorsement for good practice in our profession. Once again we hear patients are at less risk when they visit their dentist than they are with most other healthcare professionals. The teams have found dentists are providing high quality care, and where fault has been found practitioners have been willing to act quickly and solve problems.”