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Dentist challenges ‘anybody to find any complaint’ after report highlights safety concerns at Spalding practice





A dentist says he would ‘dare anybody to find any complaint from a patient’ after a report highlighted safety issues at his practice.

Concerns were raised following the latest Care Quality Commission inspection at The Crescent Dental Practice in Spalding, including inaccessible fire exits, smoke detectors that did not work and unsatisfactory electrical safety.

However, business owner Dr Baber Khan says he is being judged on his admin skills and not his ability to treat patients.

Dr Baber Khan (inset) has challenged the results of an inspection report at The Crescent Dental Practice in Spalding
Dr Baber Khan (inset) has challenged the results of an inspection report at The Crescent Dental Practice in Spalding

“I would dare anybody to find any complaint from a patient,” he said.

“They are safe. But these guys just want paperwork, they want audits for everything.

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“I am not the best at doing audits for people who are likely to fall down stairs, and things like that. There are so many audits, and that’s the problem really, I’m not great at paperwork.

Dr Baber Khan.
Dr Baber Khan.

“They want tick boxes checked, but can they find a patient who has complained about my work in the last 20 years? No. Because they haven’t got one.

“I just ask my patients to make up their own minds.”

Mr Khan also questioned whether inspectors were looking at the wrong picture in light of a shortage of dentists in the country.

The Crescent Dental Practice is owned by Dr Baber Khan
The Crescent Dental Practice is owned by Dr Baber Khan

“There are people on the TV with pliers in front of them and pulling their own teeth out because they can’t find a dentist and I just don’t know why you want to get rid of somebody doing their job when you haven’t got a letter of complaint in front of you?” he asked.

A member of staff also said that the practice was getting ‘back on track’ after disruptions including Covid and Dr Khan suffering a heart attack.

The practice was ordered to take action by CQC inspectors in December 2022, after a number of failings were discovered.

The Crescent Dental Practice, owned by Dr Baber Khan. Photo: Google
The Crescent Dental Practice, owned by Dr Baber Khan. Photo: Google

These included emergency medicine being stored alongside food, not ensuring equipment was safe, a unsatisfactory electrical system and no evidence of staff completing emergency resuscitation training.

At a recent follow-up inspection it was discovered that targets put in place by the CQC in the areas of safety and leadership had not been met a year on.

“The provider had made insufficient improvements to put right the shortfalls and had not responded to the continued regulatory breaches we found at our inspection on December 15, 2022,” the report, published on February 20, said.

As a result, the CQC has demanded enforcement action.

At the most recent inspection, held on November 23 last year, it was discovered the practice had failed to implement and sustain improvements to comply with the regulations.

It was stated that a fire exit at the rear of the ground floor was not accessible as it was locked with a high level deadbolt as well as a mortice lock and three of the four smoke detectors did not work as the batteries had been removed and not replaced.

Electrical safety was previously deemed unsatisfactory and the latest inspection showed ‘the provider had not taken any action to address these risks’, while a automated external defibrillator was recorded as requiring calibration and adult pads for the AED had expired in September.

“We identified out of date materials in all treatment rooms and noted that local anaesthetic and cotton wool rolls were not stored in a sterile manner,” the report added.

The report, however, did find that the provider had shown evidence of servicing of fire extinguishers and that the fire alarm system was now available.

The report also questioned leadership.

“Evidence of required pre-employment checks was not available for all staff,” it continued.

“We looked at records of three of the five staff and found evidence of references, employment history and disclosure barring service checks (DBS) was not present.

“Staff informed us they carried out regular monitoring and testing of water systems to prevent the risk and spread of legionella. We did not see any record of this monitoring between December 15, 2022 and November 1, 2023.”

Improvements found since the previous visit included an available record of completion of recommended continuous professional development (CPD) for clinical staff and that ‘assessment and management of risk to patient airway was improved as the provider no longer carried out treatments’.

One member of staff, who asked not to be named, said: “This is nothing to do with patient safety, but to do with electrics and ticking boxes.

“That’s been done and everything’s been put into place. Everything they’ve asked Dr Khan not to do, he’s not doing.

“There is nothing in this practice that is a risk to the patient. If they decide to close us down where do these patients go? Nobody’s taking on NHS patients.”

The staff member added they had at least 50 patients who are welling to travel to London to speak in defence of Dr Khan at any potential hearing.

“We’ve never had a complaint from a patient since I’ve been here. It’s the reverse, they come back and recommend us to their families.

“Because of Covid and because Dr Khan had a heart attack things slowed down here.

“But we’re almost back on track and it’s not been an easy process.

“It’s important people look at the pros and not the negatives.”

The dental team includes three dentists, two dental nurses and one receptionist.

What do you think? Is the CQC taking the wrong approach? Post your thoughts in the comments below...



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