Registering with the Care Quality Commission (CQC)
More articles in the 'Starting a Dental Practice' section:
Legally, in England, any dental professional and their practice must be registered for any registered activity which is going to be carried out. Buying or setting up a dental practice means that these registrations have to be in place, before any treatments are started.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC)
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is an independent regulator of health care and social care in England. The CQC monitors and inspects providers and provides reports and rankings, so that people can see which providers obtain the best results.
What are the regulated activities for dentists?
The CQC provides full details of activities for which registration is necessary on its website, click here to view this information. These activities include:
- Surgical procedures.
- Diagnostic and screening procedures.
- Treatment of disease, disorder or injury.
From the list of activities provided, it's up to a practice owner to determine which are relevant. Once registration is complete, it's important to understand how the CQC will monitor the performance of the dental practice on an on-going basis. I cannot emphasise this enough. Performance and care have to be high quality in order to ensure good CQC reports. These reports can have a direct effect on patient numbers and on the profits of the business.
How does the CQC check performance?
Investing in a dental practice is a big step. It's important to eliminate as much risk as possible. One risk is that patient numbers could decline. The best way to stop this from happening is to provide an excellent standard of treatment and care.
The CQC reports on the standard of care in dental surgeries. Therefore, it's important to understand what has to be done to prove the standard of care in the practice that is being purchased.
The CQC gathers information from different sources including:
- Service users.
- Service providers.
- Local organisations.
- Service stakeholders.
- NHS England.
- General Dental Council.
The CQC also carries out inspections. Prior to inspection, it asks for information which can include:
- Current statement of purpose for the practice.
- Accreditation or good practice programme membership details.
- Staff names, roles and hours worked.
- Details of complaints received.
Once a request for information has been received, a practice only has five days in which to respond. This is one reason why it's so important to adopt good record keeping practices once a purchased or new practice is up and running.