Health Minister Mark Drakeford has announced that Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW) will take responsibility for inspecting NHS dental practices from August 2014
The new inspection regime will replace interim arrangements, in place since April 2013, under which Public Health Wales carry out inspections of newly opened NHS practices and any existing practices that are of cause for concern. Until 31 March 2013, responsibility for inspections lay with the NHS Business Services Authority, Dental Services.
From August this year, HIW will undertake inspections of all NHS dental practices on a three-yearly cycle, in addition to its current responsibility for the inspection of private dental practices. The Welsh Government will provide sufficient financial resources to enable HIW to support the new inspection process.
HIW is the independent inspector and regulator of all NHS and independent healthcare organisations in Wales. It provides assurance that services are safe and of good quality thereby providing independent assurance for patients, the public, the Welsh Government and healthcare providers.
Mark Drakeford said:
“Because of the withdrawal of the NHS Business Services Authority from dental practice inspections, new arrangements have had to be put in place in Wales.
“Extending HIW’s role to include a three-yearly cycle of NHS dental practice inspections will ensure NHS and private dental practices are subject to the same inspection criteria and working to common standards.
“The new arrangements allow us to develop a strong, Wales-based inspection service, tailored to our specific needs.
“The physical inspection of practices reinforces the principles of good governance as outlined in the Francis Report, ensuring compliance with fundamental standards of care and focusing on meeting patients’ needs. A routine programme of inspections, delivered by dental professionals, will provide us all with an additional level of confidence in the effectiveness, safety and quality of our dental services in Wales.”
The Chief Executive of HIW, Kate Chamberlain said:
“Healthcare Inspectorate Wales is committed to providing an independent and objective view about the quality and safety of services. In delivering the dental inspection programme, HIW will ensure that good practice is maintained and will make recommendations where improvement is needed.”
Source: Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW)