Opening a new dental practice
The following information will be useful to dentists opening a new practice which will use X-rays. The following need to be considered to comply with current radiation protection legislation.
- The Health and Safety Executive need to be notified at least 28 days before X-rays are used for the first time in your new dental practice. The particulars to be notified are given at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/radiation/ionising/notification.htm
Notification can be done by post to the address of the local HSE office (see www.hse.gov.uk ) or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The practice of using electrically-generated X-rays for dental diagnosis is generically authorised and you do not need to wait for the HSE to grant permission to proceed. Dent RPA customers can use the proforma notification letter which can be found in the Resources section of the website (under My Toolbox).
- The practice must register with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) under the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2010.
Details can be found at http://www.cqc.org.uk/organisations-we-regulate
- Appoint a Radiation Protection Adviser (legally required under Ionising Radiations Regulation 1999 (13)).
To do this request a quotation from Dent RPA (click here for quotation form). You will receive a formal quote for Dent RPA to act as your Radiation Protection Adviser within 48 hours. A written contract will be sent out following acceptance of the quote.
- Appoint a Medical Physics Expert, as legally required by the Ionising Radiation (Medical Exposure) Regulations 2000.
Dent RPA will automatically act in this capacity when appointed as Radiation Protection Adviser for a practice and no separate appointment need be made.
- Submit plans of the practice to one of the Dent RPA Radiation Protection Advisers who will advise on the shielding requirements and radiation protection arrangements.
The plans should give room dimensions and show the position of the X-ray equipment and control console. Details of the construction of walls and the occupancy levels of surrounding areas should also be given where possible. Plans can be emailed to RPA@dentrpa.com or posted to us. Please do this as early as possible in case changes to the layout need to be made or additional protection required. This service is normally only available to customers who sign up for an RPA contract and a small charge may be made for the assessment. This constitutes the Prior Risk Assessment required under Ionising Radiations Regulations 1999 (7).
- Arrange for commissioning and Critical Examination of the X-ray equipment once installed.
Dent RPA will normally carry out the commissioning of the X-ray equipment on your behalf and will usually perform the Critical Examination on behalf of the installer. We usually require at least two weeks notice but will try and accommodate all requests. Please note that it is a legal requirement that such tests are carried out before the equipment is put into clinical use.
- Appoint a Legal Person who takes overall responsibility for radiation protection matters.
This is usually the practice manager or owner.
- Appoint a Radiation Protection Supervisor who oversees day-to-day radiation protection matters.
Dent RPA provides its customers with a comprehensive handbook for Radiation Protection Supervisors to define the role and enable them to manage their duties in accordance with current legislation. The appointment should be in writing and Dent RPA customers can use the proforma letter in the Resources section of the website (under My Toolbox).
- Put in place Procedures and Protocols for medical exposures, as legally required by the Ionising Radiation (Medical Exposure) Regulations 2000.
Dent RPA provides its customers with a customised set of IRMER procedures and protocols that meet this requirement.
- Once the practice is operational, you will also need to consider issues such as an ongoing workplace risk assessment, the in-house quality assurance programme and equipment-specific training records.
Dent RPA staff will guide you through the process and the dentrpa.com website has a comprehensive range of resources to make the process straightforward and efficient.
Please contact us via the Contact section of the website if you have further queries or concerns about what steps need to be taken by a new dental practice to comply with current radiation protection legislation.
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