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Inspection Summary


Overall summary & rating

Updated 2 August 2018

We carried out an announced comprehensive inspection of The Mole Clinic on 14 June 2018 to ask the service the following key questions; Are services safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led?

Our findings were:

Are services safe?

We found that this service was providing safe care in accordance with the relevant regulations.

Are services effective?

We found that this service was providing effective care in accordance with the relevant regulations.

Are services caring?

We found that this service was providing caring services in accordance with the relevant regulations.

Are services responsive?

We found that this service was providing responsive care in accordance with the relevant regulations.

Are services well-led?

We found that this service was providing well-led care in accordance with the relevant regulations.

We carried out this inspection under Section 60 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 as part of our regulatory functions. This inspection was planned to check whether the service was meeting the legal requirements and regulations associated with the Health and Social Care Act 2008.

This service was inspected in December 2012 under our previous inspection methodology and it was found at that time to be meeting all the essential standards of care.

The Mole Clinic, established in 2003, is a clinical location of the provider The Mole Clinic Limited and operates from 9 Argyll Street, London W1F 7TG, which is registered as its head office. The service also operates from a separately registered location at 7 Moorgate, London EC2R 6AF. Operational systems and processes are generic to both locations and employed staff worked across both sites. We inspected both locations on the same day with two separate inspection teams.

The service specialises in skin cancer screening, diagnosis and skin lesion removal. All services are offered from both locations. Staff from Argyll Street also provide skin cancer screening sessions at two satellite locations based within Harrods Pharmacy, Brompton Road, London SW1X 7XL and at 40 Bank Street, Canary Wharf, London E14 5NR. We did not inspect either satellite location.

The day-to-day running of the service at both Argyll Street and Moorgate is provided by the clinic manager supported by a clinic coordinator at both locations. The service also employs seven nurses, two healthcare assistants, a systems and data manager and a receptionist. Skin lesion diagnosis using digital images (tele-dermatology) is provided remotely by three sessional dermatology-specialist general practitioners. Mole removal surgery is provided on-site by five surgical consultants in the specialities of dermatology, plastic surgery and general surgery, all of whom work under practising privileges (the granting of practising privileges is a well-established process within independent healthcare whereby a medical practitioner is granted permission to work in an independent hospital or clinic, in independent private practice, or within the provision of community services). 

The service offers pre-bookable face-to-face appointments for adults aged 18 and over. Patients can access appointments at this location on Monday and Wednesday from 8am to 7pm, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 8am to 5pm and Saturday from 10am to 4pm. Appointments at Harrods Pharmacy are available on Wednesday from 10am to 7pm and at Canary Wharf Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 5.30pm. For the period 1 June 2017 to 31 May 2018 the service has seen approximately 8,200 patients seen at Argyll Street, 300 at the Harrods Pharmacy location and 103 at its Canary Wharf location. Overall in the past year the service has seen approximately 13,000 patients at all its locations.

The provider is registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) for the regulated activities of Diagnostic & Screening Procedures and Surgical Procedures. After the inspection the service submitted an application to add the regulated activity Treatment of Disease, Disorder or Injury to reflect its current service provision.

The clinic manager is the registered manager. A registered manager is a person who is registered with the Care Quality Commission to manage the service. Like registered providers, they are ‘registered persons’. Registered persons have legal responsibility for meeting the requirements in the Health and Social Care Act 2008 and associated Regulations about how the service is run.

As part of our inspection, we asked for CQC comments cards to be completed by patients prior to our inspection. Eighteen comments cards were completed, all of which were positive about the service experienced. Patients commented that the service offered a professional, caring and thorough service. Patients said staff were friendly, helpful and informative.

Our key findings were:

  • There were systems in place to safeguard children and vulnerable adults from abuse and staff we spoke with knew how to identify and report safeguarding concerns. All staff had been trained to a level appropriate to their role.
  • The service had systems to manage risk so that safety incidents were less likely to happen. When incidents did happen, the service learned from them and improved their processes.
  • The practice carried out staff checks on recruitment, including checks of professional registration where relevant.
  • Clinical staff we spoke with were aware of current evidence-based guidance and they had the skills, knowledge and experience to carry out their roles.
  • There was evidence of quality improvement, including clinical audit.
  • Consent procedures were in place and these were in line with legal requirements.
  • Staff we spoke with were aware of their responsibility to respect people’s diversity and human rights. The service was caring, person-centred and compassionate.
  • Systems were in place to protect personal information about patients. The service was registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
  • Patients were able to access care and treatment from the clinic within an appropriate timescale for their needs.
  • Information about services and how to complain was available.
  • The service had proactively gathered feedback from patients.
  • Governance arrangements were in place. There were clear responsibilities, roles and systems of accountability to support good governance and management.

There were areas where the provider could make improvements and should

  • Consider the infection prevention and control lead undertaking enhanced training to support them in this extended role.
  • Review practice policies and procedures so they are consistently service-specific.
Inspection areas

Safe

Updated 2 August 2018

We found that this service was providing safe care in accordance with the relevant regulations.

  • There were systems and processes in place to keep patients safe and safeguarded from abuse and a patient identification system was in place.
  • There was a system in place for the reporting and investigation of incidents and significant events. Lessons learnt were shared with staff.
  • There were systems in place to meet health and safety legislation.
  • There were arrangements in place to deal with emergencies and major incidents.
  • We observed the service premises to be clean and there were systems in place to manage infection prevention and control (IPC), which included a recent IPC audit.
  • The provider was aware of and complied with the requirements of the Duty of Candour and encouraged a culture of openness and honesty.

Effective

Updated 2 August 2018

We found that this service was providing effective care in accordance with the relevant regulations.

  • Clinical staff were aware of and used current evidence based guidance relevant to their areas of expertise.
  • Clinical staff had been trained to provide them with the skills and knowledge to deliver effective care and treatment.
  • There was evidence of quality improvement, including clinical audit, for example post-operative outcomes from minor surgical procedures.
  • There were formal processes in place to ensure all members of staff received an induction and an appraisal.
  • Staff sought and recorded patients’ consent to care and treatment in line with legislation and guidance.

Caring

Updated 2 August 2018

We found that this service was providing caring services in accordance with the relevant regulations.

  • Staff we spoke with were aware of their responsibility to respect people’s diversity and human rights.
  • Systems were in place to ensure that all patient information was stored and kept confidential. The service was registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
  • Patient feedback through CQC comment cards and internal surveys showed that patients felt their privacy and dignity was respected and they were shown kindness, respect and compassion.

Responsive

Updated 2 August 2018

We found that this service was providing responsive care in accordance with the relevant regulations.

  • Patients were able to access care and treatment from the clinic within an appropriate timescale for their needs.
  • Staff told us that they had access to interpreting services for those patients whose first language was not English.
  • There was a complaints policy which provided information about handling complaints from patients. There was a patient leaflet outlining the complaint process in line with guidance.
  • Information for patients about the service was available in a patient leaflet and on the clinic’s website which included the costs of services provided.

Well-led

Updated 2 August 2018

We found that this service was providing well-led care in accordance with the relevant regulations.

  • The management team had the capacity and skills to deliver high-quality, sustainable care.
  • The service had a clear vision and credible strategy to deliver high quality care and promote good outcomes for patients.
  • There were clear responsibilities, roles and systems of accountability to support good governance and management.
  • The service engaged and involved patients and staff to support high-quality sustainable services.