Surprise inspection plans criticised

New powers lack clarity and could put patient safety and professional morale at risk, says SDPC

21 March, 2016 / infocus

Surprise inspections of Scottish practices could put “patient safety and professional morale” at risk according to the BDA.

Robert Donald, chair of the Scottish Dental Practice Committee, was reacting to news that NHS boards could soon have the powers to subject dental practices to unannounced inspections.

He said: “The Scottish Parliament is poised to pass regulations that could see practices become subject to unannounced inspections by NHS boards.

“These new powers lack clarity, and surprise inspections could put both patient safety and professional morale at risk.”

A statement from the BDA read: “The BDA has alerted dentists that NHS boards could soon have powers that enable them to visit practices without warning.

The BDA SDPC had written to the Chief Dental Officer and the Scottish Government to make dentists’ concerns clear about these proposals.

“The Scottish Government decided to ignore our concerns and on 28 January, without any further consultation, laid the amendments before Parliament for MSPs to scrutinise over a six-week period.

“The SDPC is extremely concerned by these developments and has requested an urgent meeting with the CDO to discuss a suitable way forward.”

However, a spokesman for the Scottish Government said: “Officials wrote to the British Dental Association (Scotland) on 7 January, with the draft amendment regulations.

“This is in line with standard practice to inform relevant stakeholders of forthcoming changes to regulations in advance of their Parliamentary laying period.

“We can also confirm that the Chief Dental Officer met with the Scottish Dental Practice Committee on 23 February 2016 to discuss the guidelines that will underpin unannounced inspections of dental practices by NHS boards.”

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