Why are Dental Practises & Dentists Singled Out? - In general terms Dental Practices are in the high risk group for developing Legionella bacteria. This is mainly because of the equipment used in the practicing of dentistry. The main route of transmission of the legionella bacteria for dental staff and the patient is by inhalation of contaminated water droplets or aerosol, generated by dental instruments such as the high speed hand piece or ultrasonic scaler. The use of masks can provide limited protection from aerosol for members of staff, but the aerosol generated can easily be inhaled by the patient who has no barrier protection. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that the water used during dental procedures is of a quality that does not pose any threat or risk to health to either staff or the patient.
The Care Quality Commission
The CQC are becoming more and more aware of the issues with Legionella in Dental Practises and highlighting failings regarding Legionella in their reports.
Outcome 10 of the essential standards of quality and safety describes what registered providers should be doing to ensure the safety and suitability of premises. Providers must ensure that people who use services and others accessing premises are protected against the risks associated with unsafe or unsuitable premises.
CQC inspectors will consider the topic of legionella and dental waterline management when they review ‘safe’, which relates to regulation 15 (premises and equipment).
What Action Do We Need to Take? - The CQC will expect that the minimum requirements of the ACOP L8 are in place which includes a valid Legionella Risk Assessment (carried out within the last two years). They will also expect to see the results of annual Legionella Testing carried out by a UKAS Accredited Laboratory and the records of any recommended Legionella Prevention & Control measures.
It is important to note that what may satisify a CQC inspection may not meet all your legal health & safety obligations.
How We Can Help - Our WaterTech Engineers carry out a range of services including Legionella Risk Assessments, UKAS Accredited Legionella Testing, Legionella Control & Prevention and Legionella Awareness Training.
As a Duty Holder or person in charge of premises is it your responsibility to ensure anyone who undertakes work in your property is competent to do so. Our WaterTech engineers are City & Guilds and NVQ qualified, members of the Chartered Institute of Plumbing & Heating Engineering, Water Industry Approved and Water Safe Registered. As Water Industry Approved Plumbers our engineers are recognised by DEFRA and the Secretary of State as Approved Contractors. Our engineers have also been trained by Legionella Control International and hold City & Guilds accreditation in Legionella Risk Assessment, Management & Control.
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