You may wondering about the strange affair as to why I have not been blogging recently. Well here is why.
On Monday 22 October am we received a phone call at the practice from a CQC compliance inspector who wanted to come on Wednesday, 24 October am. I pointed out that on Wednesday, 24 October I would be on my regular oral surgery teaching slot at the University of Central Lancashire. I also pointed out the clinical director was on a mentoring course on the same day at the University of Central Lancashire. I also advised that the senior receptionist who had collated all the documentation and the senior cross infection nurse were both on half term holiday that particular week. He wanted to come on Thursday 25th of October at which I pointed out I (as registered manager) would be on holiday for Eid ul Adha. I explained that I was not being awkward but that this particular week there was a combination of affairs which would have made an inspection somewhat difficult. He was extremely understanding and very pleasant on the phone and therefore agreed to come on Monday, 29 October.Rather than wishing to take any chances I decided to cancel my whole morning of patients off for the inspection. This particular compliance inspector was from Rochdale but he had done a lot of dental practices in the Huddersfield and Wakefield areas. Feedback from other colleagues in the Rochdale area have indicated that they had had female compliance inspectors who had not really done many dental practices. His background was not from social care. His original degree was in pharmaceuticals. He had previously been employed by the Healthcare commission. Therefore his approach was far more sensible and relevant in terms of affairs like mental capacity act and restraint. These were topics that were not really touched. He pointed out that a lot of the CQC compliance inspectors have come from social care backgrounds and therefore they were looking at aspects such as the mental capacity act and vulnerable adults and children. However he also pointed out that many of the other non social care background inspectors were trying to make the inspections more focused towards affairs that a dental practice really should be dealing with on a day-to-day basis.Therefore the outcomes that he was looking at work as follows
Consent Care and welfare Cleanliness and infection control Staffing Complaints
He pointed out that future inspections of the practice would probably cover other aspects of the outcomes framework.
He was very civilised pleasant and understanding. He arrived at 10 AM and left around 12 PM. Around 75 minutes were spent specifically dealing with affairs around cross infection and cleanliness. This included seeing how we set up in the morning and what the facilities were in the decontamination rooms. He wanted to look at all the audit records in terms of the washer disinfectors and autoclaves, servicing, legionella and wanted to see how we dealt with instruments from start to finish. He indicated that CQC were not really so focussed on HTM0105 affairs but were guided by the Dept of Health Prevention and Control of Infection Document (108 pages long!) when looking at outcomes. I have to say that Sharon my cross infection nurse was absolutely outstanding. She was confident articulate and came across superbly. He did not have a specific tick list of what to go through but did it all from his head and wrote everything down by hand on paper. My senior receptionist Kristy made sure that every single folder and item of paperwork that could possibly be needed was laid down in a logical fashion in the surgery that I was not working in that morning. I am not sure how as an inspector he would remember everything that he had to cover but I guess having done so many practices he pretty much knew what he was looking for. He made it clear that he was not here to catch us out or make life difficult for us but if necessary would give advice and guidance. The main recommendation that he gave us was that Sharon’s role as cross infection nurse lead should be formalised in some written form as part of her job description. I was more than happy to take this on board.
The rest of the inspection was fairly short and really was looking through all the relevant paperwork and evidence that we complied with issues such as consent. He managed to interview a couple of patients. My reception staff were somewhat astounded that this particular Monday morning was one of the quietest they can ever remember. He promised us a draft report within a week and true to his word it was there by Thursday i.e. after three days.
All in all I’m glad it is all over. I will not deny that it was a very stressful week in the run-up to the inspection even though we are a VT training practice and also have BDA Good Practice. It is just that fear and apprehension of “have we got every single item of paperwork that we need together or is there something missing.”
He said that the next round of inspections commences 2013/2014. So you never know if we are really lucky we could get another inspection next year!