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Inspection carried out on 5 and 14 October 2016

During a routine inspection

Blakelands Hospital is operated by Ramsay Health Care UK Operations Limited. The hospital provides surgery, and outpatients and diagnostic imaging. We inspected these services. The hospital has two theatres, one that is used for surgical procedures including orthopaedic, general and ophthalmology (eye) surgical procedures. The second theatre is used for endoscopy procedures. There are recovery stage one and recovery stage two areas. The recovery stage one area has four trolley spaces, and the stage two area has four chairs. Other facilities include general x-ray, ultrasound, five outpatient treatment rooms and a reception area.

The hospital provided services to adult patients (over 18 years old).

We inspected this service using our comprehensive inspection methodology. We carried out the announced part of the inspection on 5 October 2016 along with an unannounced visit to the hospital on 14 October 2016.

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 services’ 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.

The main service provided by this hospital was surgery. Where our findings on surgery, for example, management arrangements, also apply to other services, we do not repeat the information but cross-refer to the surgery core service.

We rated this hospital as good overall.

  • There was a positive incident reporting culture, with good evidence of learning from incidents.

  • Staff understood their roles and responsibilities to safeguard adults from abuse.

  • Nurse staffing levels were appropriate for the service. Medical staff practicing privileges were monitored to ensure doctors were suitable and safe to work in the service.

  • Medicines were checked, monitored and managed appropriately.

  • Staff were kind, respectful and always introduced themselves.

  • The June 2016 patient survey showed that 96% of patients would recommend the hospital to their friends and family.

  • The management team were visible and approachable.

  • Patient’s care and treatment was planned and delivered in line with evidence-based guidelines.

We found areas of good practice in surgery:

  • There were incident reporting processes in place.

  • There were robust infection prevention and equipment maintenance procedures in place.

  • The hospital achieved 100% of NHS patients treated within 18 weeks of referral from July 2015 to June 2016.

  • Pre-operative fasting information sent to patients was aligned to the recommendations of the Royal College of Anaesthetists.

  • The average length of patient stay was reported to be less than four hours (September 2016).

  • Patients with cancelled operations were offered another appointment within 28 days of the cancelled procedure.

We found good practice in relation to outpatient and diagnostic services:

  • There were incident reporting processes in place.

  • The hospital had no patients waiting six weeks or longer from referral for non-obstetric ultrasound.

  • Staff mandatory training rates were 100%.

  • Patient notes were stored securely.

We found areas of practice that require improvement in surgery:

  • The risk register was not always used as a tool to manage risk actively at a departmental level and we identified risks that were not included in the risk register.

  • We found that not all surgical site infections that were reported had an associated root cause analysis report. Therefore, we could not be assured that the organisation was investigating and learning from all reported surgical site infections.

  • We were not assured that the World Health Organisation five steps to safer surgery checklist was completed consistently in line with the three stages. This increased the potential risk of a patient safety incident occurring.

  • There was not a service level agreement in place for patients requiring transfer if they became critically ill.

We found areas of practice that require improvement in outpatient and diagnostic services:

  • Audits were not always followed up with appropriate actions to ensure the service improved.

Following this inspection, we told the provider that it must take some actions to comply with the regulations and that it should make other improvements, even though a regulation had not been breached, to help the service improve. We also issued the provider with one requirement notice that affected surgery and outpatient and diagnostic services. Details are at the end of the report.

Ted Baker

Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals

Inspection carried out on 3 February 2014

During a routine inspection

We spoke with three people that had received treatment at the Blakelands Hospital. They all told us that they were extremely happy with the service and treatment they had received. One person told us �staff are very caring I wouldn�t hesitate to recommend that people come here for their treatment�. Another person said �everyone is nice and polite, it is an excellent service�.

We found that the environment was clean and that appropriate arrangements were in place for the prevention and control of infections.

We found that records relevant to the care of people and the management of the services were accurate and fit for purpose and held safely.

We found that complaints and concerns had been listen to an acted upon.

We found that there was a good system in place for medicines management.

We found Blakelands Hospital to be safe, effective and well managed.

Inspection carried out on 1 February 2013

During a routine inspection

We spoke with two people who used the service. They told us that they were pleased with the level of treatment and care that they had received. One person told us that their treatment had been a positive experience because the treatment centre had a �relaxed� environment and the staff had treated them �like a person�.

The people also told us that they had been given an assessment appointment to make sure that they were healthy and suitable for the procedure that they required. They said that the staff had explained to them what would happen during their procedure and made them aware of the risks and benefits of having surgery.

One person also told us that they had been asked to sign a written consent form to show that they were happy with the information that they had been given by the staff and wanted to proceed with their required procedure. This was to make sure that people made an informed choice and gave their consent before they received treatment or surgical procedures.

One person told us that the staff were very caring and had phoned them on the day of their procedure to make sure they were fit and well enough to have surgery. They also told us that the staff phoned them when they returned home from having their surgery and checked that they were feeling well and if they had any queries or concerns following on from their surgery.

Reports under our old system of regulation (including those from before CQC was created)