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Optical Express - Norwich Clinic

The provider of this service changed - see old profile


Inspection carried out on 19 March 2018

During a routine inspection

Optical Express Norwich Clinic is operated by Optical Express Limited. Optical Express Limited is a nationwide company offering general optometric services. The clinic provides laser vision correction procedures for adults aged 18 and over.

The clinic is a high street optical practice set over three floors. Facilities include a consultation room, a laser treatment room, a surgeon examination room, a waiting area and two discharge rooms.

We inspected this service using our comprehensive inspection methodology. We carried out an announced inspection on 19 March 2018.

To get to the heart of patients’ experiences of care and treatment, we ask the same five questions of all services: are they safe, effective, caring, responsive to people's needs, and well-led? Where we have a legal duty to do so, we rate service performance against each key question as outstanding, good, requires improvement or inadequate.

Throughout the inspection, we took account of what people told us and how the provider understood and complied with the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

Services we do not rate

We regulate refractive eye surgery services but we do not currently have a legal duty to rate them, when they are provided as a single specialty service. We highlight good practice and issues that service providers need to improve and take regulatory action as necessary.

We found the following areas of good practice:

  • The service had systems for the reporting, monitoring and learning from incidents.

  • Staff followed good practice in relation to infection prevention and control. The clinic was clean and equipment well maintained.

  • Medicines were recorded, stored and disposed of safely.

  • The clinic followed best practice guidelines and measured patient outcomes.

  • Mandatory training and annual appraisals were up to date. Staff had the appropriate skills, knowledge and experience to deliver effective care and treatment.

  • Staff cared for patients with compassion, treating them with dignity and respect.

  • Services were planned and delivered to meet the needs of local people.

  • Services were available at the patient’s convenience and were accessible to those who had disabilities.

  • The culture of the service was positive and staff felt well supported in their role.

  • The service had governance, risk management and quality measures to improve patient care, safety and outcomes.

However, we also found the following issues that the service provider needs to improve:

  • 24% of patients had less than seven days cooling off period between their consent appointment with the surgeon and the procedure. This was not in line with Royal College of Ophthalmologist guidance 2017.

  • There was no formal interpreting service. Patients were advised to bring their own interpreter to consultations.

  • Patient information leaflets were not available in different languages or formats.

Following this inspection, we told the provider that it should make improvements, even though a regulation had not been breached, to help the service improve. Details are at the end of the report.

Heidi Smoult

Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals