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Inspection report

Date of Inspection: 20 October 2011
Date of Publication: 8 November 2011
Inspection Report published 8 November 2011 PDF

The service should have quality checking systems to manage risks and assure the health, welfare and safety of people who receive care (outcome 16)

Meeting this standard

We checked that people who use this service

  • Benefit from safe quality care, treatment and support, due to effective decision making and the management of risks to their health, welfare and safety.

How this check was done

Our judgement

The provider has ensured that people who use the service are safe and that the quality of care provision is risk managed effectively.

Overall, we found that County Pathology Ltd was meeting this essential standard.

User experience

During our discussions with people using the service we were told that the service was very good and of a very high standard. We asked if there had ever been any cause to raise a concern regarding standards of care or treatment and were advised that no concerns had arisen.

Other evidence

During our discussion with staff we were advised that people using the service were encouraged to provide feedback on the standards of treatment they received. This was through a survey, which was located in a stand in the reception area. Those individuals who were attending to have blood taken by the staff also had guidance regarding commenting on the service or raising a complaint. This was available on a sign displayed visibly in the treatment room where the procedure was carried out.

We asked how many responses had been received from the survey and were told that only one form had been completed, as uptake of these was very much dependent on people wanting to provide feedback on the service . We were told that no concerns were raised in this one response.

The provider explained a number of measures in place for assessing and monitoring quality of services. In the main these were technical procedures related to the correct functioning of laboratory equipment and processes of obtaining test results from various samples.

The service is required to meet quality controls and standards set by external bodies, such as the clinical pathology accreditation, standards for medical laboratories. We saw information related to these standards, in addition to evidence of external auditing. The latter produced a print out of comparative information related to the production of test results. Other audits include the monitoring of the processes for handling samples from start to finish.

We were shown a copy of the risk assessments that are in place. These related to standard operating procedures set for each type of test and identified the frequency of exposure to the risk, likelihood of risk and measures to be taken. A traffic light system was used to score the level of risk from amber to red.