The Faculty of General Dental Practice UK (FGDP(UK)) has welcomed the Care Quality Commission (CQC)’s findings on its dental inspections, and says dentists and their teams are setting an example for many other healthcare professions in England to follow.
The CQC’s annual State of Care review shows that of over 1,300 practices inspected last year, the proportion requiring enforcement action dropped from 2% to 1%. The number needing improvement in specific areas (‘requirement action’) fell from 10% to 9%, and the percentage meeting the required standards in all five key areas assessed rose from 88 to 90.
Ninety-two percent of practices re-inspected after requirement actions had addressed the identified concerns, as had 80% of those re-inspected following enforcement action.
With 100% of practices again judged to be responsive and caring, 99% considered effective, and the vast majority of improvements required still in relation to practice leadership, the biggest change in this year’s report is a drop in the number deemed to require action on safe care from 4% to 2%.
The best performing region was the South East, where only 5% of inspections resulted in either enforcement or requirement action, and the worst was the South West at 17%. There were two regions, the West Midlands and the North East, where none of the inspections over the course of the year resulted in enforcement action.
Ian Mills, Dean of FGDP(UK) and a member of the CQC Dental Reference Group, said:
“General dental professionals should once again be extremely proud of the consistency with which they provide high quality care to their patients. Focussing on leadership and management remains the key to our profession making further improvements, and the value of practice managers is once again highlighted in this regard.
“We will continue to encourage an approach which promotes quality improvement rather than just quality assurance, and which minimises the stress and burden placed on practices. The CQC is working with the profession, and the impressive results in the report show the benefits of that approach; despite an increasing array of challenges, general dental teams are outperforming most professions in the quality of the care they deliver.”