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patient safety policy

Hygeia Dental Care takes patient safety very seriously.  Our aim is to ensure that incidents affecting patient safety directly and indirectly are kept to a minimum at all times.  No matter how careful people are with the work that they undertake, mistakes can and do happen.  At hygeia we encourage everyone to report mistakes and “near-misses” as soon as possible so that action can be taken promptly.  The following procedure will be used:

  • if an event happens that affects patient safety or potentially affects patient safety
  • if a member of staff feels something might affect patient safety in future.

patient safety officer

The practice Patient Safety Officer is the Practice Director, Neil Phillips. All patient safety incidents, “near-misses” and other concerns must be reported to him.

record keeping

The Patient Safety Officer will immediately record the incident, “near-miss” or concern in the incident report book (which is the same book as the accident report book and is kept at reception) and begin investigations on what happened, how it happened and why. He will consider with the clinician concerned whether their defence organisation should be informed.

patient liaison

Where an incident has caused a patient harm or distress, the Patient Safety Officer will ensure that the patient has been given a full explanation of the incident and what action is being taken by the practice. Where appropriate, an apology will be given and followed up in writing if necessary. All communications with the patient, verbal and written, will be recorded.


The Patient Safety Officer will also consider whether the patient, the immediate family of the patient, members of the team involved in the incident and those responsible for reporting the incident need further support. We aim to encourage reporting of adverse incidents and will not blame individuals when mistakes are made.

further action

When the details of the incident have been established, and if appropriate, the Patient Safety Officer will discuss the matter with the other members of the dental team. Solutions or changes to current policies and protocols will be discussed fully and action agreed upon. If relevant, changes will be notified to the patient. The effectiveness of the solutions and/or changes will be reviewed at agreed intervals and the findings reported to the members of the dental team.

risk assessment

The Patient Safety Officer will ensure that the incident is fully recorded and that the practice’s General Risk Assessment is updated in the light of the proposed solutions and/or changes.


The Patient Safety Officer will, where necessary, report adverse incidents to the Health and Safety Executive and/or the Care Quality Commission.

Web version 1: 5.4.2010 (Reviewed 26.1.2012; 13.3.2013; 19.6.2014; 5.6.2015; 4.8.2016; 1.9.2017; 11.11.2018)

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