CQC dental practice inspections

Is your dental practice well-prepared for a Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection?

If not and you need help – or are already faced with action from the CQC following an inspection – then contact one of our CQC defence lawyers on 0203 816 9274.

The CQC carries out inspections on about 10% of dental care providers and has a specific approach which includes:

  • Listening to, involving and responding to your patients’ experience of the care they receive
  • Using specially-trained dental inspectors that understand your type of service
  • Assessing your dental care services through Key Lines of Enquiry (KLOEs) against five key questions:
    • Are they safe?
    • Are they effective?
    • Are they caring?
    • Are they responsive to people’s needs?
    • Are they well-led?

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CQC inspections

While the CQC reported that the majority of dental practices inspected last year had no breach of regulations and required no action, others failed to comply in areas including good governance, safe care and treatment and fit and proper persons employed. This involved issues such as:

  • Effective auditing
  • Completion of risk assessments
  • Infection control
  • Medical emergencies
  • Safeguarding
  • Managing complaints
  • Recruitment, supervision, support and training of staff

In addition, dental practice directors need to be aware of the fit and proper persons regulation which requires them to be capable of having responsibility for quality and safety of care, or face regulatory action.

Equally, the Duty of Candour regulation demands that dental care providers are open and transparent in relation to care and treatment, including when things go wrong for patients. Breaching this regulation can result in prosecution and other regulatory action.

Protecting your business

Ensuring that your dental practice complies with regulations and can withstand the scrutiny of the CQC’s inspection regime is vital to its survival and prosperity.

Therefore, when preparing for a CQC inspection, you should:

  • Create documentary evidence of how you comply with each regulation and question
  • Invest in efficient systems to help meet the requirements
  • Carry out risk assessments
  • Ensure all staff have the training they need

If an inspection leads to further action from the CQC – such as warning notices, notices of proposal to cancel registration, prosecution, etc. – you should seek advice from legal experts.

Stephensons has an experienced regulatory defence team with lawyers specialising in CQC regulations and compliance.

Their expertise can assist you in all your dealings with the CQC, which could include:

  • Drafting factually accurate documents for inspection reports
  • Drafting representations for the CQC
  • Advising in the case of a criminal investigation
  • Making appeals against CQC decisions
  • Crisis management

For specialist legal advice relating to your dental practice and the CQC contact our team on 0203 816 9274.

 

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