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Optimax Laser Eye Clinics - Reading


Inspection carried out on 03 and 10 March 2018

During a routine inspection

Optimax Laser Eye Clinics - Reading is operated by Optimax Clinics Limited.

The clinic has two floors and consists of a main waiting and reception area, a topography room, three consultation rooms, a preparation room, a recovery room and a laser treatment room. All clinical and other patient areas are fully wheelchair accessible.

The service provides laser correction procedures using class 4 and class 3b lasers carried out by ophthalmologists.

We inspected this service using our comprehensive inspection methodology. We carried out the announced inspection on 3 March 2018 and 10 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 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.

We regulate refractive eye surgery 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:

  • Patients were involved in their care and had the opportunity to ask questions at all stages of their treatment.

  • Staff treated people with kindness and care. The clinic manager maintained consistent local audits and safety and performance monitoring that contributed to the operation of the service.

  • There was a culture of open communication and shared learning in the clinic. This included improvements to the service as a result of learning from incidents, near misses and patient feedback.

  • There had been significant work nationally in the provider, which was reflected in this clinic, to update and improve policies and protocols. This included establishing policies in line with national standards and best practice guidance.

  • Consent procedures were in line with national standards and we saw patients received clear and concise information about their planned treatment and aftercare.

  • The local clinic team used a series of audits to assess compliance with the provider’s corporate standards. These demonstrated consistently good levels of performance.

  • The service was flexible to patients needs and we saw good coordination between surgeons, clinical staff and other clinics in the provider’s group to accommodate patient schedules and preferences.

  • Local leadership was consistent and resulted in a well-established governance and performance management structure.

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

  • Clinical staff did not always follow policy in relation to the handling of sterile single-use items. This presented an infection control risk. Procedures in the laser room did not always ensure patients were protected from the risks associated with infection control.

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

Amanda Stanford

Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals (South East)

Inspection carried out on 29 August 2013

During a routine inspection

People told us they were provided with sufficient information about laser eye surgery to decide if they wished to go ahead with treatment. They told us that treatment options had been fully explained and the costs detailed. People told us they had been provided with opportunities to ask questions at every stage of the process and were told about the risks and benefits of various treatments.

People were complimentary about the attitude and qualities of staff. One person said �The staff have been approachable, friendly and kind.� People told us they had been treated with dignity and respect throughout the process. They said they were provided with enough time to consider their options and felt confident they had made the right decision based on the information provided. One person said �They have given me clear explanations. I know what to expect during and after my treatment.�

We saw that staff were supported effectively by management. They had undertaken regular training to enhance their knowledge and skills and were regularly appraised.

The service monitored its own compliance with regulations. There was a quality assurance system in place that sought customer feedback to improve the quality of services. People knew how to complain about the service. All complaints were fully investigated and the outcome provided to the complainant was recorded.

Inspection carried out on 31 January 2013

During a routine inspection

People told us they were pleased with the care provided by all staff including ophthalmologists and surgeons. They said staff were professional and knowledgeable. They were provided with information about their treatment and felt comfortable asking for more information when they needed it. None of the people we spoke with felt they needed to make a complaint but told us they would feel comfortable raising concerns with any member of staff.

We found that people using the service were provided with appropriate care to meet their needs. Care and treatment were provided by staff who were vetted prior to employment. There were systems for monitoring and preventing the spread of infection. Staff were able to tell us how complaints were recorded and reported. Where complaints were made, there was evidence they were reviewed and addressed.

Inspection carried out on 19 March 2012

During a routine inspection

We spoke with five people by telephone who told us they were entirely happy with the service provided. They told us the treatment options had been fully explained and the costs detailed. People said they were provided with sufficient information to decide if laser eye surgery was right for them and "did not feel pressurised to undergo treatment". People told us everyone at the clinic had been very kind and helpful and had been prepared to explain the treatment in terms they understood.

People commented " I cannot speak highly enough about them, they were very thoughtful, the aftercare was superb". "I was so happy, I have recommended the treatment to my wife" and "the day after surgery I was back at work and could throw away my glasses".

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