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Inspection Summary


Overall summary & rating

Good

Updated 11 October 2019

Somerset MRI Centre is operated by Alliance Medical Limited.

The centre provides magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) services on an outpatient basis for patients from the age of 17 onwards. Facilities include an MRI scanner and associated control room, two changing rooms, a disabled toilet, an administration area, a reception desk and a waiting area.

We inspected the service under our independent single speciality diagnostic imaging framework, using our comprehensive inspection methodology. We carried out an announced inspection on 7 August 2019.

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 it as Good overall.

Our key findings were:

  • There were sufficient numbers of staff to care for patients and keep them safe and this was reviewed and safely managed.
  • Staff had training in key skills, understood how to protect patients from abuse, and managed safety well.
  • The service controlled infection risk well. Equipment was regularly serviced, cleaned and staff conducted daily quality assurance checks.
  • Staff assessed risks to patients, acted on them and kept good care records.
  • The service managed safety incidents well and learned lessons from them. Staff recognised incidents and reported them for investigations. Learning from incidents was shared within the team and across the organisation to improve the service.
  • Policies and procedures were up to date and reflected best practice and national guidance.
  • Staff provided good care and treatment. Managers monitored the effectiveness of the service and made sure staff were competent. Staff supported them to make decisions about their care and had access to good information.
  • Staff treated patients with compassion and kindness, respected their privacy and dignity, took account of their individual needs, and helped them understand their conditions. They provided emotional support to patients, families and carers.
  • The service planned care to meet the needs of local people, took account of patients’ individual needs, and made it easy for people to give feedback. People could access the service when they needed it and did not have to wait too long for treatment.
  • The service had effective systems for identifying and managing risks.
  • Leaders ran services well using reliable information systems and supported staff to develop their skills. Staff understood the service’s vision and values, and how to apply them in their work.
  • There was a strong and supportive culture among the staff. They felt respected, supported and valued. They were focused on the needs of patients receiving care. Staff were clear about their roles and accountabilities.
  • The service engaged well with patients and the community to plan and manage services. The views and experience of patients and staff were gathered and acted on to improve the service and culture.
  • Senior leaders and staff were striving for continuous learning, service improvement and innovation.

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

  • The service should improve attention to detail in completing the six-point checklist to ensure the patient was correctly identified before the scan.
  • The service should improve attention to detail in completing accurate timings of a patient’s arrival in the scanning room and their departure following their appointment.
  • The service should strengthen some of the team’s knowledge of magnetic resonance safety principles and the implications of safety applications.
  • The service should follow best practice by using the interpretation service for patients whose first language was not English.

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.

Nigel Acheson, Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals (South and London)

Inspection areas

Safe

Good

Updated 11 October 2019

We rated it as Good because:

  • The service provided mandatory training to all staff in key skills and the service manager ensured staff were compliant.
  • Staff were trained to recognise and report safeguarding concerns.
  • Equipment was maintained and serviced in accordance with manufacturers guidance, and the environment was visibly clean.
  • The service had enough staff with the right qualifications, skills, training and experience to provide care.
  • Records were safely stored and kept confidential.

However:

  • There was sometimes poor attention to detail in completing the six-point checklist to ensure the patient had been correctly identified before the scan.
  • There was sometimes poor attention to detail in completing the exact timings of a patient’s arrival in the scanning room and their departure following their appointment.
  • The knowledge of MRI safety principles and implications of safety applications required strengthening for some staff.

Effective

Updated 11 October 2019

Caring

Good

Updated 11 October 2019

We rated it as Good because:

  • Staff emotionally supported patients to minimise their scan related anxieties.
  • All patients we spoke with gave positive accounts of their experience with the service and its staff.
  • All patients were given information in a way they understood. 

Responsive

Good

Updated 11 October 2019

We rated it as Good because:

  • Patients were provided with enough information about the service and the procedure before attending.
  • The service planned and offered MRI services in a way that met the needs of the local people.
  • Waiting times for MRI services were in line with good practice.

However:

  • Staff were not following best practice by asking relatives to interpret for patients whose first language was not English. 

Well-led

Good

Updated 11 October 2019

We rated it as Good because:

  • Staff told us they felt well supported by their colleagues and leaders of the service.
  • The service engaged with patients and stakeholders to receive feedback on their overall performance.
  • There were governance processes which provided oversight of the quality of the service provided.
  • The service had systems to document and demonstrate risks had been identified, with mitigating actions that were monitored regularly.
Checks on specific services

Diagnostic imaging

Good

Updated 11 October 2019

We rated this service as Good because it was safe, caring, responsive and well led. We do not rate effective for this type of service.