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CQC Freedom of Information request reveals 48 breaches of DOH regulations by dentists

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  Posted by: The Probe      5th November 2019

As many as 1.9 million courses of dental treatment carried out in England over the last 12 months may have taken place at clinics that breach strict guidelines on health, safety and welfare, including cleanliness and infection control designed to prevent the spread of conditions such as HIV, hepatitis and vCJD.  Under Freedom of Information laws, Slow Dentistry, a movement to change the pace of dental care, obtained the results of inspections carried out by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), the healthcare regulator.

Analysis reveals that of the 1,067 dentists inspected by the CQC last year, 48 were found to be in breach of the strict Department of Health regulations covering infection control to maintain people’s health, safety and welfare and also the suitability and safety of premises dental treatments take place in.[1] The NHS England reports that 39.7 million courses of treatment were delivered in 2018-19.[2]

The results are of little surprise to dentist Miguel Stanley who initiated the Slow Dentistry movement and who commissioned the Freedom of Information request.

“As dentists we all want to deliver the best quality patient care. However, as the results of the CQC inspections have shown, steps to protect patients can be delivered inadequately by some, leading to patient safety being put at risk. I believe that the number of safety breaches could be reduced significantly if dentists had the right amount of time to deliver care. Time is crucial when consenting patients, delivering treatment, and, importantly, when preparing a safe, hygienic environment for every patient. As dentists, we enter the profession with an aim of helping as many patients as possible, so its vital to make patient safety a top priority.

This is why the Slow Dentistry initiative was designed to improve standards of dental care. We are working to encourage both dentists and patients to embrace a slower pace of dentistry, before, during and after treatment. As our movement grows, we would aim to see the volume of these breaches decline significantly, as dentists would be afforded the time they need.”

[1] (47 breaches of regulation 12, 1 breach of regulation 15) https://www.cqc.org.uk/guidance-providers/regulations-enforcement/regulations-service-providers-managers

[2] https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/nhs-dental-statistics/2018-19-annual-report-pas


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