Patient Safety – Behind the Scenes
Our practice has a safety and preventive culture which means that patient safety is at the forefront of our minds, not only when delivering healthcare but also behind the scenes when setting objectives, developing procedures, purchasing new products and equipment.
It is also a culture that is open and fair, where staff can discuss the challenges that face them at work in the best interests of our patients.
All equipment at Church Court Dental Practice undergoes robust inspection and testing procedures prior to use, and throughout its operating lifetime.
Our operational systems, including Cross Infection Control, Decontamination, Radiography and Record-Keeping have consistently evolved to reflect best practice and are subject to regular and rigorous audit.
For example the parameters of all decontamination cycles are recorded electronically throughout every clinic and traceability systems allow individual instruments to be tracked through the whole process in real time.
We work with skilled technicians in laboratories with proven reputations for producing excellent work and giving good turn-around time so we can complete your treatment within optimum timescales.
This enables us to offer you a wide range of services and to commission your work from the laboratory that has the ability to best provide for your needs.
If you would like a statement of manufacture for an appliance we have supplied please ask any member of the team.
The statement is like a certificate or warranty, and proves that your device has been made to legal standards especially for you. You don’t have to take a copy of the statement. It will be kept on file and you can ask for a
copy at any time during the lifetime of the appliance.
Equipment, Technology and Materials
We have made long-term investment in the equipment and clinical facilities at the practice. We have three surgeries and a Local Decontamination Unit where all equipment and instruments are sterilized using strict protocols and tracking.
Equipment is purchased with a view to its use now and in the future. We assess it for quality, value, suitability and compatibility with our operating systems and procedures.
All equipment is well-maintained and regularly serviced according to manufacturer recommendations. Many items of equipment within the Practice undergo regular daily (or cycle) auditing tests to ensure they are functioning at full effectiveness.
We purchase dental materials and consumable clinical items from reputable suppliers and monitor them for quality, reliability and value in real time.
Cross Infection Control
Church Court Dental Practice is the winner of the schülke Infection Prevention Control Award 2016 which was presented at the BDIA Showcase in London in October 2016.
Our systems have consistently evolved to reflect best practice and are subject to regular and rigorous audit. For example the parameters of all decontamination cycles are recorded electronically throughout every clinic.
We also use traceability systems which allow individual instruments to be tracked through the whole process in real time.
The practice operates an interactive decontamination manual which has been developed and updated by the whole team over many years. To achieve this we follow the latest infection prevention guidelines from throughout the UK, including the Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme, the British Dental Association, Department of Health. We also keep up to date with as advice and research from many other sources including Denplan, CODE and DPL Xtra. We monitor and audit our systems and encourage all staff to actively contribute to making improvements and engaging with this process.
- All dental instruments are either single use or sterilized after use.
- All instrument /sterilization cycles are recorded for traceability
- We carry out regular audits on our systems to test they are being properly applied at all times
- Work areas are decontaminated in between patients
- All staff maintain a high standard of personal hygiene including clinical clothing and the restricted wearing of jewellery
- Staff who may have a blood borne infection have an occupational health examination and take expert advice on their role in treating patients
- Practice water is monitored for quality and dental unit waterlines are maintained
- Waste is handled according to current regulations and disposed of with appropriate carriers
We run a clinical governance system which uses integrated risk management to identify, assess, analyse and manage of all risks and incidents. The goal is continuous improvement in our care and service to you.
The team is supported through regular meetings, staff training, personal development and regular appraisals under the direction of the Practice Manager. We always welcome your questions, comments and suggestions.
Please contact Adele Welsh, Practice Manager if you have any questions or concerns.
Clinical Audit is a quality improvement process that seeks to improve patient care and outcomes through systematic review of care against explicit criteria and the implementation of change.
What this means is our procedures at the Practice are regularly scrutinised against national standards to encourage incremental change for benefits in care. All members of our team are encouraged to participate in this process to develop a genuine culture which puts our patients at the centre of everything.
Training our people
All members of our team are encouraged to participate in continuous professional development and it is the cornerstone of practice development.
Dental radiographs are commonly called x-rays. These are used for many reasons: to find hidden dental structures, cavities and bone-loss, for example. It is possible for both tooth decay and gum disease to be missed during clinical examination without the use of radiographs and evaluation of x-rays is a critical segment of comprehensive oral examination.
The Practice meets/exceeds all national safety criteria: IRR99 (Ionising radiation regulations) and IR(ME)R (ionising radiation medical exposure regulations).
We closely follow selection guidelines for when exposures should be taken and every effort is made to gain as much benefit from the exposures with a minimum of risk.
If you are a new or returning patient, you may have had radiographs taken within a recent period of time (usually 2 years) at a previous practice. Following your initial assessment and with your permission, it is normal practice to request sight of copies of your xrays. This way we can avoid unnecessary additional radiographic exposure. See How We Monitor Your Oral Health for more information on your oral health assessment.
If you want to know more about this please ask any of the radiographically trained members of our team.
Clinical dental photography is a very valuable tool to demonstrate disease and health and to document treatment progress.
It is especially useful for monitoring wear and tear or erosion of teeth. Sequential images over time can demonstrate that continuing damage is being arrested.
Images can be displayed on screens in real time and many patients find it fascinating to see images of their own mouths, teeth and gums in very high quality and under magnification.
Professional and Business Support
We are constantly seeking up-to-date, evidence-based advice, support and training. Providing professional care is our main focus but the business that underpins and provides the means to deliver and organise that care is of equal importance. All our clinical staff are registered with the General Dental Council and follow their standards and regulations. We are also Dental Protection’s DPLXtra members, are accredited by the Denplan Excel programme, hold British Dental Association Expert Membership and are members of CODE (Confederation of Dental Employers). The practice is also a member of the Dumfries Chamber of Commerce.