A member of staff at a dentist was accused of performing procedures on patients that they weren’t qualified to carry out.

Chronos London Dental Care in Chamberlayne Road, Brent, which provides both NHS and private dental services, was inspected by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) on January 6.

Its report, published on February 22, found the practice to be in breach of multiple regulations of the Health and Social Care Act.

The practice has had its licence suspended for six months by the health watchdog. 

The inspector noted that a staff member didn’t have the required qualifications to carry out certain procedures. The report said: “The dental nurse, with the knowledge of the principal dentist, provided treatment including dental hygiene treatment, issued prescriptions, and undertook examinations and dental radiographs that were clearly outside the scope of their professional practice.” 

On one occasion, a patient had been booked in for an emergency appointment to treat a broken front tooth. As there was no dentist scheduled to work at the time of the booking, the inspector concluded that the appointment was made to see the dental nurse who prescribed care and treatment, including medication, without being registered to do so with the industry regulator.

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The dental nurses’ digital appointments book had initially been deactivated by the principal dentist while the inspection had been carried out.

When the inspection team was given access after asking, it showed that the nurse had appointments on various days to perform other activities that they admitted to not being qualified for, such as carrying out radiographs.  

Inspectors noted that the practice was not even able to provide evidence of radiation protection procedures being in place to make sure radiography was carried out safely.

Staff were also reported as not being confident in using equipment and oxygen in the event of a medical emergency during the visit. The dental team includes the principal dentist, one associate dentist, one qualified dental nurse, and one trainee dental nurse.

The latest inspection was a follow-up to one carried out by CQC in November 2022, which found four breaches of regulations. Due to the nature of concerns found, the watchdog took immediate enforcement action by suspending the practice for six months.

Chronos London Dental Care and NHS North West London Integrated Care System Foundation Trust were approached for comment but did not respond in time for publication.

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