PATIENTS at a York dental practice were put at risk by poor hygiene standards, a watchdog concluded after an unannounced inspection.

The Clock House Dental Surgery in Heworth was issued with a warning notice by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) following the inspection in March.

Inspectors found some of the dental practice rooms, equipment and instruments were dirty, and records relating to infection control had either been falsely completed or had not been completed.

However, a follow-up inspection last month found the practice was now clean and fit for purpose, areas had been deep cleaned and redecorated, essential maintenance work had been completed, and effective systems were in place to reduce the risk and spread of infections.

The commission said in a report that it carried out the first inspection after receiving “information of concern relating to standards of cleanliness”.

After the inspection, it concluded: “People who used this service were being placed at risk of harm due to poor standards regarding hygiene and the control of infection.”

It said a pot with dirty impression moulds in it and dirty and stained pedal bin lids were observed in a treatment room that was not in use.

Another room, set up for a patient’s treatment, had used tissues and waste paper lying wet in the sink, and the hygienist treatment room was “very dirty”, as was equipment in the room. In other treatment rooms, cupboard fronts were dirty.

After the warning notice had been issued, the practice had sent an action plan detailing how it would address the concerns, and the second visit was intended to check this had been carried out.

It confirmed patients were now being cared for in a clean environment, protected from the risk of infection, and patients confirmed they believed the practice was clean and well maintained.

Dr Andrea Ubhi, principal of Clock House Dental, told The Press: “Giving an effective service is of utmost importance to us. We have one of the largest NHS dental contracts in York and also provide standard private and low-cost SMART dentistry, caring for over 20,000 patients at Clock House Dental, so it is invaluable to be able to work with the CQC to improve and maintain standards of patient care.”