The Care Quality Commission (CQC) plan to use notable practice to recognise dental care that goes above and beyond the regulations, I think such an approach to inspection, create a positive environment for improvement and shared learning.  I am the practice manager of a busy dental practice, and believe this is an important innovation for the inspection process.

These are the CQC proposed principles for notable practice:

Notable practice is more than just implementing ‘best practice and guidelines’:

• It is a practice that displays a positive culture, where all members of the practice team use the systems and processes to improve the patient experience continuously.

• Having regulatory breaches should not prevent CQC from looking for notable practice about a provider and sharing it.

• For a practice to be notable, improving the patient experience must be at the heart of why and what they do.

• It must be fair and possible to be emulated by other providers, without requiring significant financial investment.

 What some notable practices are delivering:

• Considered the needs of their patient population, and specifically the needs of patients with sight loss and dementia. They painted door handles and support railing blue in order for them to stand out against the background and draw attention to key features. This is notable because practices tend to consider the needs of people with mobility issues, and not necessarily people with sight loss and/or dementia.

• Used all methods of communication to reach out to the local community they serve. This include the use of  social media tools  e.g facebook, twitter, e-mail, and a patient practice based questionnaires, to ensure all patients have the opportunity to provide feedback on the services provided. This would be a notable practice because it shows the practice understands the different ways in which people communicate, and they used this to maximise interaction and engage with people who use their services.

• Set up simple survey asking patients for their views about how they could improve physical access to the dental surgery. Feedback from patients identified that what the practice thought was the issue, but the solution was not what patients’ feedback showed. The practice used patient feedback to understand the issue and used it to review how they could improve physical access. This is a notable practice as it demonstrates how the practice uses patient feedback to make improvements to the service. 

• Championed health promotion and prevention within the practice by the Lead Dental Nurse.  The water supply in the area did not contain fluoride, as a result the practice supported the training of extended duty dental nurses (EDDN) for the provision of fluoride varnish applications as a preventive measure for children who were at risk of dental decay. The dental nurses were also trained to provide oral health      education to young  children and Adults, who are at a higher risk of dental decay and gum disease.  The practice allocated two full days and one evening session to health promotion and prevention clinics which were staffed entirely by the EDDNs. The practice had recently put in a tender to NHS England to provide smoking session advice clinics

Join me and contribute to shape the inspection model for notable practice and what it should look like....

For your views on the proposed principle go  to  once registered go to for any notable practice that you know