CQC’s Senior National Dental Adviser, John Milne, shared some myth-busting advice about CQC’s inspections on their website.  

John helpfully covered these under the key questions CQC inspectors have to address:  safe, effective, caring, responsible and well-led.

SAFE

Topics are wide-ranging, from the disposal of dental amalgam to storage of Glucagon, patient record-keeping to safeguarding children, as well as conscious sedation, decontamination, lone working and fire safety. 

EFFECTIVE

Here, John advises on keeping up to date for the dental practice team, dental care records

audit and improvement in primary dental services and consent to dental treatment

RESPONSIVE

Just one topic covered here, that of using interpreters (language and British Sign Language).

WELL-LED

Dental radiography and X-rays, 24-hour retirement from NHS contract and CQC registration, business continuity plans in primary care dental services, staff recruitment, CCTV in dental practices and Well-led?

To offer a flavour of the detail John shares, here is an extract from the section on the topic of Sepsis (Mythbuster 25)

“We use these regulations when we review if the practice is safe, effective, responsive, caring and well led when managing sepsis:

We consider these Key Lines of Enquiry (KLOEs):

Signs and Symptoms of Sepsis

Spotting deterioration in a patient’s condition can help prevent sepsis. Sepsis claims an estimated 44,000 lives each year (The UK Sepsis Trust).

Symptoms include:

  • malaise
  • shivering
  • muscle pain
  • failure to pass urine in the previous 18 hours.

Signs include:

  • non-blanching rash and cyanosis of the skin, lips or tongue
  • reduced blood pressure
  • increased heart rate
  • increased respiratory rate
  • altered mental state.

Sepsis care: professional guidelines

These clinical tools provide a blueprint for excellent sepsis care:

When we inspect

We will ask staff what systems and processes are in place to manage, follow up and refer patients for specialist care.

This includes:

  • treating patients who:
    • are not responding to conventional oral antibiotic treatment
    • cannot have their infection managed surgically
  • what advice is given to patients, including when they should seek emergency advice or treatment if symptoms worsen or when the dental surgery is closed.

We may ask staff to describe a typical patient journey. For example, if a patient has an acute infection with limited mouth opening, associated with a partially erupted lower wisdom tooth. We may ask to see dental care records to assess how a practice has dealt with previous cases where a patient has presented with severe bacterial infection.”

You can read ‘Mythbusters and tips for dentists’ here.  

John Milne practices dentistry in Wakefield, West Yorkshire.

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