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Managing Decontamination in Dental Practice (MDDP)

Washing handsBackground

Ensuring effective decontamination of reusable instruments is complex and, as illustrated here, relies on the integration of several key elements:

  • Facilities: these need to be fit for purpose, well-organised and maintained
  • Equipment, Validation, Testing: the correct equipment must be available and be validated and tested to ensure that it is functioning correctly
  • Process: a standard decontamination process must be established and followed
  • Training: staff need to know their specific roles and be fully trained to carry out their duties effectively

In addition, an effective Management System is necessary to enable the practice to demonstrate, both to its staff and externally, that it meets national standards for decontamination in primary care, can consistently deliver these standards and can identify any improvements required. This involves:

  • documenting how the practice sets out to achieve effective decontamination in the form of policy statements and procedures for each part of the process;
  • recording and retaining relevant information to show that each part of the process has been effective;
  • regular audit and review to monitor whether processes are up to date, are being followed and to implement any changes required.

Many of the requirements for decontamination management are specified within the NHSScotland Combined Practice Inspection.

Managing Decontamination in Dental Practice (MDDP) has been developed specifically for the needs of dental practices following a review of earlier generic approaches to decontamination management. MDDP aims to help dental practices to create the documentation that underpins a decontamination management system by supplementing the documents that the practice already has.

There is considerable overlap between decontamination management and general health and safety management within a dental practice. Consequently, some of the documentation is common to both of these activities.

MDDP comprises a Checklist for reviewing the current status of your decontamination documentation and a collection of templates and forms that the practice can adapt for its own use. How to Use the MDDPlists the documents provided and explains how they can be used.

NB: There is no requirement to use the MDDP documents. Instead, they are provided to illustrate what a practice needs to include in its documentation. The majority of the MDDP documents are forms or templates that a practice may adapt to suit its particular situation, if required.

SDCEP’s Decontamination Into Practiceguidance provides advice specifically for dental practice on all aspects of decontamination.

A Framework to Support Staff Development in the Decontamination of Re-usable Medical Devices,which is applicable to staff working in NHS Boards and the independent sector, including general dental practices, has been developed by NHS Education for Scotland and Health Protection Scotland to support those who undertake, manage or are responsible for decontamination activities. (Requires TURAS log in)

Sources of Information