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We are carrying out a review of quality at The Whiteley Clinic London. We will publish a report when our review is complete. Find out more about our inspection reports.

Inspection Summary


Overall summary & rating

Good

Updated 26 July 2017

The Whiteley Clinic London is operated by The Whiteley Clinic Ltd which is an organisation consisting of clinics in three locations across England. The Whiteley Clinic London was governed by and follows protocols of The Whiteley Clinic Ltd. The London clinic has no inpatient beds. Facilities include consultation rooms, treatment rooms, one operating theatre for endovenous or other surgery, and a second with radiological shielding approved for fluoroscopy, and scan room used for diagnostic screening.

We carried out a comprehensive inspection of The Whiteley Clinic London on 21st March 2017 as part of our national programme to inspect and rate all independent hospitals.

We inspected the following core service:

  • outpatients and diagnostic imaging services (including surgery)

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 rated this hospital as good overall.

Our key findings were as follows:

  • Staff were aware of how to report incidents. Incidents and complaints were reviewed at the monthly clinical governance meeting. Processes were in place for investigating, reviewing and sharing learning from incidents.
  • Standards of cleanliness and hygiene were high throughout the clinic. Equipment within the clinic was maintained and serviced appropriately, and medicines were stored securely.
  • Staff were competent within their roles. Most staff within the clinic were up to date with their mandatory training. The clinic undertook timely inductions and appraisals, and staff had the appropriate skills to carry out their duties.
  • All procedures and treatment at the clinic were based on research that had been ongoing since the opening of the Whiteley Clinic Ltd in 1999. NICE guidelines for the management of varicose veins (CG168) published in 2013 mirrored the policies and procedures already undertaken at the clinic.
  • The clinic undertook regular patient audits. Research undertaken by the Whiteley Clinic Ltd demonstrated a high success rate in treating venous disease.
  • All patient feedback that we received was positive. Patients said that they felt fully involved in their treatment. Staff regularly checked patients in relation to their comfort level.
  • The service was flexible in responding to patient needs. Appointments were usually offered within three weeks. Alternative arrangements were made on the rare occasion that clinics were cancelled.
  • The clinic and staff working there had a vision and drive to deliver evidence based and effective treatment for the management of varicose veins. The clinic demonstrated an ability to apply cutting edge research to clinical care and treatment, to deliver the best patient outcomes.
  • The clinic used the Whiteley Protocol, a research based protocol used in the treatment of venous disease. All staff were trained in the Whiteley Protocol to ensure a consistent high standard of care.
  • The senior management team were visible and approachable. There were high levels of engagement with staff through ‘state of the nation’ talks and annual academic days.

Following this inspection, we told the provider that it should make some improvements, even though a regulation had not been breached, to help the service improve.

The hospital should:

Ensure all staff comply with the procedures and guidelines when disposing of sharps to reduce the risk of needlestick injuries.

Create a list of authorised staff and schedule a review for each patient group direction used at the clinic as recommended by NICE guidelines on patient group directions (MPG2)..

Ensure all response times to complaints are recorded so that the clinic can be assured that they are responding within the appropriate time frame.

Professor Sir Mike Richards

Chief Inspector of Hospitals

Inspection areas

Safe

Good

Updated 26 July 2017

Staff were aware of how to report incidents. Processes were in place for investigating, reviewing and sharing learning from incidents.

Most staff within the clinic were up to date with their mandatory training.

Standards of cleanliness and hygiene were high throughout the clinic. Infection control policies and procedures were in place to prevent the spread of infection.

Equipment within the clinic was maintained and serviced appropriately. Records were kept for authorised use of the C arm and laser equipment. Medicines were stored securely within the clinic.

The clinic had processes to assess patient risk. Patients were able to contact a consultant outside of working hours if they had any medical concerns.

The service had enough staff with the appropriate skills and experience to provide care and treatment to patients at their level of need.

Effective

Not sufficient evidence to rate

Updated 26 July 2017

All procedures and treatment at the clinic were based on research that had been ongoing since the opening of the Whiteley Clinic Ltd in 1999. The NICE guidelines for the diagnosis and management of varicose veins (CG168) published in 2013 mirrored the policies and procedures already being undertaken at the clinic.

The clinic were carrying out a number of local audits. Staff strove for 100% compliance and when this was not achieved managers put an action plan in to place.

The clinic undertook regular patient audits that it compared with previous years and between Whiteley locations, to ensure that the standard of care did not drop.

The clinic undertook timely inductions and appraisals. Staff had the appropriate skills and knowledge to carry out their role.

Caring

Good

Updated 26 July 2017

All patient feedback that we received was positive. Patients said that staff put them at ease and made them feel comfortable during their time at the clinic.

During procedures we observed staff distracting patients by having light-hearted conversation with them. This had been demonstrated as an effective method of keeping patients calm, and reducing their pain.

Patients were kept fully involved during their treatment at the clinic and given many opportunities to ask questions.

Responsive

Good

Updated 26 July 2017

The facilities and premises were appropriate for the services being delivered. Adequate seating and refreshments were available for patients waiting to be seen.

The clinic usually offered an appointment within three weeks. The clinic aimed to be flexible and, where available, offered an appointment at a different location if the patient wished to be seen earlier.

Clinics were rarely cancelled, and when this did occur an alternative Whiteley Clinic consultant attended the clinic to undertake all procedures the same day.

Managers tried to deal with any patient concerns before a formal complaint was made. All complaints, informal or not, were logged by the clinic.

Well-led

Outstanding

Updated 26 July 2017

The clinic and staff working there had a vision and drive to deliver evidence based and effective treatment for the management of varicose veins. The clinic demonstrated an ability to apply cutting edge research to clinical care and treatment to deliver the best patient outcomes.

The leadership team were driven to continuously improve standards, and provide high quality care and the best results for their patients. The latest research demonstrated an 88% success rate in treating patients with varicose veins followed up over fifteen years.

The clinic used the Whiteley Protocol, a research based protocol used in the treatment of venous disease. All staff were trained in the Whiteley Protocol to ensure a consistent high standard of care.

Staff told us, and we saw, that the leadership team were visible and approachable. Management had an open door policy and this enabled staff to raise concerns when necessary.

The clinic used pelvic vein embolisation, a major advance in the treatment of venous disease.

There were high levels of engagement with staff. Senior staff shared information, developments and research with staff through ‘state of the nation’ talks and annual academic days.

The clinic had recently worked in collaboration with the University of Surrey to develop a range of medical devices used in the investigation and treatment of venous disease.

Checks on specific services

Outpatients and diagnostic imaging

Good

Updated 26 July 2017

The clinic demonstrated an ability to apply cutting edge research to clinical care and treatment to deliver the best patient outcomes.

The leadership team were driven to continuously improve standards, and provide high quality care and the best results for their patients. The latest research demonstrated an 88% success rate in treating patients with varicose veins followed up over fifteen years.

Staff were aware of how to report incidents. Processes were in place for investigating, reviewing and sharing learning from incidents.

Standards of cleanliness and hygiene were high throughout the clinic. Infection control policies and procedures were in place to prevent the spread of infection.

The clinic had processes to assess patient risk. Patients were able to contact a consultant outside of working hours if they had any medical concerns.

All procedures and treatment were based on current research at the clinic.

The NICE guidelines for the diagnosis and management of varicose veins (CG168) published in 2013 mirrored policies and procedures undertaken at the clinic.

All patient feedback that we received was positive. Patients said that staff put them at ease and made them feel comfortable during their time at the clinic.

The clinic usually offered an appointment within three weeks. Staff aimed to be flexible and, where available, offered an appointment at a different location if the patient wished to be seen earlier.

The clinic used the Whiteley Protocol, a research based protocol used in the treatment of venous disease. All staff were trained in the Whiteley Protocol to ensure a consistent high standard of care.

Staff told us, and we saw, that the leadership team were visible and approachable. Management had an open door policy and this enabled staff to raise concerns when necessary.

The clinic used pelvic vein embolisation, a major advance in the treatment of venous disease.