Range of failings at dental clinic in Lochboisdale forces closure

Failings have been identified during a recent audit at Lochboisdale Dental Clinic by NHS Western Isles Infection Prevention and Control Team.

The wide range of issues means that the premises are not fully fit for purpose and a decision has been taken to close the surgery on quality and safety grounds.

Services for patients will be provided in alternative premises.

As part of the process to ensure that standards are being met the Infection Prevention and Control Team applied an Environmental Audit Tool on February 22.

This tool defines the acceptable standards for a managed environment which minimises the risk of infection to patients being cared for, as well as staff.

The audit of Lochboisdale revealed a range of failings.

Some of these relate to, and have been addressed by, changes in working practice. Cleaning schedules are under review to ensure they are specific to the premises.

There are, however, underlying problems with the building itself.

The clinic is old, and it is vulnerable to damp, both penetrating and as a result of condensation.

Floor coverings have also deteriorated. Storage space is inadequate, making segregation of clean and dirty goods difficult.

There is inadequate space to allow staff changing, rest space, and toilet facilities for both patients and staff.

The building cannot be brought up to standard as the existing footprint does not provide sufficient space for surgery, waiting area, reception, toilets, clean and dirty storage, compressor, and staff rest.

On the grounds of Quality and Safety the Health Board accepted the recommendation for closure of Lochboisdale as soon as practicable, and have agreed a closure date of Thursday, April 13th.

Alternative facilities exist (one surgery in the Uist and Barra Hospital) and a second surgery in Linaclete, which will readily absorb the demand.

All patients undergoing treatment, which is approximately 100, will have their care uninterrupted by the closure at Liniclete Surgeries.

All patients registered at Lochboisdale, which has 1,102 adults and 289 children, will be notified of the closure and the alternative arrangements.