1. RESPONSIBILITIES. We aim to provide care that is consistent. We work to a system which is based on defining our goals and then training staff to take responsibility for their own role whilst assisting their colleagues in theirs.
2. CLINICAL DECISION MAKING. We examine you, then propose a course of treatment. We discuss it with you and allow for your individual needs and wishes. No treatment is compulsory. We explain the written treatment plan to you. We encourage questions.
We provide you with a written treatment plan and estimate of costs. Should this need to change we will explain why and provide you with another written treatment plan and estimate before treatment if possible.
3. PROTECTING GENERAL HEALTH. We ask you to complete a medical questionnaire when you first come to see us and every year after that. We also ask that you tell us if your general health alters in any way. We need to know this as it may affect the type of treatment or medicines we give you. This information is kept confidentially. We ask you to give us details of your smoking and drinking habits, this is to help us assess your risk of getting oral cancer. We screen you for oral cancer when you have your routine check-up.
4. INFECTION CONTROL. Cross infection control is essential in a medical environment. Every member of staff is trained to understand the importance of contamination control.
5. INTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS. This practice has regular general staff meetings, dentists, nurses, receptionists and hygienists meetings. The Principals and Practice Manager attend and agendas are prepared and minutes written. All members of staff are encouraged to add items to the agendas. All new developments are discussed at staff meetings before decisions are made and suggestions from staff are incorporated into new procedures, policies and employment practices.
6. PATIENT FEEDBACK. We make it a practice to talk to our patients at reception and in the surgeries. We listen to their comments, both bad and good and welcome suggestions as to how to improve our service. We have a comments book freely available at reception and we have patient surveys twice a year, the results of which are publicly displayed in reception. Complaints are answered in writing usually within two days and we ask all members of staff involved in a complaint to be part of the team, which answers the complaint. Lessons are learnt and apologies given where we feel we have let a patient down.
7. CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT (CPD). This practice volunteered to register for Lifelong Learning before it became compulsory. Our dentists and hygienists continue to attend courses on new developments and we have a consistently high training record. Dentists engage in peer review within the practice to ensure that dentists keep informed and adhere to our high standards. Dentists are expected to rely on their colleagues for second opinions, advice and feedback. Systems are in place to deal with any concerns that arise.
8. TRAINING AND CPD GENERALLY. All staff are trained in confidentiality, data protection, cross infection control, radiation, crash procedures, first aid, fire, practice security, health and safety, equal opportunities, in addition to numerous protocols. We hold annual performance/training reviews with all staff. All staff are encouraged to go to college to obtain qualifications. We have sponsored our nurses to do so.
We have a general induction programme for all staff and then specific induction programmes for dentists/hygienists, nurses and receptionists. We have written our own training manuals for receptionists and nurses. We have been awarded GOLD by “Investors in People” due to our consistent and continuous commitment to training our staff.