Infection Prevention and Control Policy
Statement of intent
For the safety of our patients, visitors and team this practice follows the latest guidelines and research on infection prevention. We comply with the ‘essential quality requirements’ from the Department of Health and have a written assessment and plan to move towards ‘best practice’. We take Universal Precautions for all patients, to minimize all of the known and unknown risks of cross infection.
We follow the latest decontamination guidelines from the Department of Health for new and used instruments. Stored instruments are protected against re contamination. The treatment rooms and all equipment are decontaminated appropriately between patients and at the end of every clinical session. Defects found during the cleaning of equipment are immediately reported to the Decontamination Lead
Staff involved in decontamination and clinical work have evidence of current immunization for Hepatitis B
Items sent to the laboratory and equipment sent for repair
All items dispatched to the laboratory are washed and disinfected after removal from the mouth and items received from the laboratory are washed and disinfected prior to fitting. Equipment is decontaminated before being sent for repair
Whenever possible we utilize single-use instruments, which are always disposed of after use on a patient
To minimize the risk of blood borne viruses all staff are trained in avoidance and management of an inoculation injury. Post Exposure Prophylaxis is available if necessary. Staff at risk of blood-borne virus exposure have an occupational health examination
The practice takes all reasonable measures to minimize the risk of exposure of staff, patients and visitors to legionella in accordance with existing guidance. The practice carries out regular legionella risk assessment, water tests and audits. Flushing of hot and cold water outlets is routinely undertaken by the practice. Records of all legionella control activities are maintained and reviewed at the Annual Management Review
All staff maintain a high standard of personal hygiene including hand hygiene, restricted wearing of jewelry, and clean clinical clothing
Personal Protective Equipment
All team members follow the guidelines for personal protective equipment. These include masks, gloves, protective eye wear, clinical attire and suitable shoes
Clinical staff are trained in how to manage an accidental spillage of a hazardous substance and how to follow our emergency arrangements
Waste is carefully handled and disposed of by appropriate carriers according to current regulations
Dental unit waterlines undergo disinfection, flushing and maintenance to minimize the risk of bio contamination. Practice water is inspected and tested as necessary to maintain water quality
Each member of the team undergoes regular training and review and has a responsibility to ensure a safe working environment for all. Training includes the principles of infection prevention, the use of decontamination equipment and materials, the daily inspection and testing of equipment and the maintenance of records
We audit and review infection prevention procedures every year with the aim of a continual improvement in standards and to update this policy and procedures as necessary
People who use our services receive care, treatment and support and we the ensure that equipment required for resuscitation or other medical emergencies is available and accessible for use as quickly as possible. Redhead Orthodontics has a defibrillator and all clinical staff are trained in its use.
A full medical history is taken for every new patient. It is updated at every check up and whenever the practice is informed of a change of status in the patient’s medical history. Please advise us of any changes to your medical history as this could be important to us in the treatment we will be providing.
The practice is committed to complying with the Health Act 2006 and to protecting all team members, patients and visitors from exposure to second-hand smoke. Smoking is prohibited at practice premises. In addition team members are not allowed to smoke whilst wearing their clinical attire or in the immediate vicinity of the practice. Team members are expected to follow this policy and to support its implementation.
Notification of other incidents
People who use services can be confident that important events that affect their welfare, health and safety are reported to the Care Quality Commission so that, where needed, action can be taken. This is because providers who comply with the regulations will notify the Care Quality Commission about incidents that affect the health, safety and welfare of people who use services, including:
Injuries to people
Making an application to depriving someone of their liberty
Events which stop the registered person from running the service as well as they should
Allegations of abuse
A police investigation.
The practice is committed to offer high standards of care and service to our patients, we operate a quality assurance programme to ensure:
Effectiveness of our infection control
Consistent quality of provided treatment
Compliance with health and safety legal requirements
Safe use of x-ray equipment
Compliance with the GDC requirements for the Continuing Professional Development of our team members
Ensure that all of our treatments are evidence based and follow NICE intervention procedures guidance
Have a policy of minimum intervention, this means we do the least treatment possible to achieve the best results for our patients
Do not refuse treatment on the grounds of race, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation or religious beliefs
Our private fees are designed to be fair and to enable us to offer patients the freedom of choice to have advanced treatments. We operate a robust patient complaints procedure. All comments and suggestions are welcomed and taken very seriously because they help us to continually improve our services to patients. Contemporaneous records are maintained on Computer records.
The practice follows the GDC guidelines ‘Principles of Patient Consent’. All clinical team members providing treatment requiring consent are adequately trained and ensure that the patient has:
Enough information to make a decision (informed consent)
Made a decision (voluntary decision-making)
The ability to make an informed decision (ability)
The nature of treatment and all charges are clarified to the patient before it commences and s/he is provided with a written treatment plan and cost estimate. All team members are aware that once the consent has been given it may be withdrawn at any time and they will respect the patient’s decision. If the team member is uncertain about the patient’s ability to give informed consent they will consult their dental defense organisation for advice.
No person may provide consent for treatment of another adult and all healthcare professionals, including dentists, must have regard to the Mental Capacity Act Code. There is always a legal presumption of capacity and in order to give consent a person must be able:
To understand relevant information
To retain that information
To use/weigh it up in decision-making process
To communicate decision (speech, sign language or any other means)
If a person is thought to lack capacity a two stage test of capacity should be applied:
Is there impaired/disturbed functioning of mind or brain for reasons of conditions associated with some forms of mental illness?
Significant learning disabilities
The long-term effects of brain damage
Physical or medical conditions that cause confusion, drowsiness or
Loss of consciousness
Concussion following a head injury
The symptoms of alcohol or drug use.
Is it sufficient to believe that the person lacks capacity to make the particular decision?
Where there is reasonable belief or it is claimed that the person is not capable of making a decision for themselves the belief or claim must be evidenced. This should show, on the balance of probabilities, that the individual lacks capacity to make a particular decision, at the time it needs to be made. This means being able to show that it is more likely than not that the person lacks capacity to make the decision in question. A person has the right to refuse to be assessed for mental capacity to reach a decision and may not be coerced or forced into accepting assessment.
The dentist may require factual information from the GP regarding any clinical problems likely to impair mental functioning, but the dentist must himself assess the patient’s capacity to make the particular decision to consent to the specific proposed treatment at that particular time. Where the patient is in the care of another, for reasons of their incapacity to make their own reasoned decisions, the dentist must maintain the best interests of the patient at all times; where there is conflict between the professional and carer, the ICMA will provide assistance.
The dentist may make a ‘best interests’ decision to treat a patient who lacks capacity without obtaining prior consent, but this must always follow the Statutory Checklist and be in line with the guidance given in the Code of Practice. The reasons for the decision should be carefully documented for legal reasons within the patient notes.
Request an Appointment
0207 637 0777