Article: Dental Practices and the CQC

Unlike most types of service, the CQC don’t give ratings to dentists. This is because they only inspect 10% of dental services, as they’ve found that dental services pose a lower risk to patient safety than other sectors that they CQC regulate.

Instead they display ticks and crosses against each of their five key questions – are services safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led, to show if:

  • There’s no action required.
  • They’ve asked the service to make improvements.
  • Th’ve taken enforcement action

The CQC inspection teams will have regular contact with people from local organisations, including:

  • Local Healthwatch
  • Overview and scrutiny committees
  • Complaints advocacy services
  • Voluntary and community sector organisations (particularly those that represent people whose voices are seldom heard)
  • Local dental committees

General preparation for an inspection

  • There is a CQC handbook for providers of primary dental services, as well as our tips and myth busters for dental practices on their website at www.cqc.org.uk/dentalproviders.

More than two weeks before your inspection

  •  The CQC regional inspection teams will liaise with your NHS area team to gather information about the practices in your area, such as any assessments undertaken, complaints, risks or issues received and any investigations undertaken.
  • They will ask your local Healthwatch for any information they have about the quality of care provided by the practices in your area, including evidence of good quality care and any concerns.

Two weeks to go

  • A CQC Inspector will call you to introduce themselves and talk through what will happen on the day in more detail so you can prepare.
  • You will receive a letter from the CQC to confirm the date of your inspection and request a copy of your statement of purpose, information on complaints/compliments and staff details.

Day of inspection

  • The inspection visit will usually be completed in one day.
  • The inspector is likely to bring a dental specialist advisor with them.

Updated: October 2018