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Inspection carried out on 21 June 2017

During a routine inspection

Epsom Dialysis Unit is operated by Fresenius Medical Care Renal Services Limited (FMC). The unit is contracted by Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals to provide haemodialysis to adult patients.

The unit is a nurse led unit, comprising of a clinic manager, deputy clinic manager, two team leaders, a registered nurse and two dialysis assistants. The clinic manager, deputy manager and team leaders also provided clinical care. The unit has 20 haemodialysis stations, including four isolation rooms.

Dialysis units offer services, which replicate the functions of the kidneys for patients with advanced chronic kidney disease. Dialysis provides an artificial replacement for lost kidney function.

The unit provides haemodialysis treatment to adults aged 18 years and over, who have non-complex needs. The unit does not provide home treatment. At the time of our inspection, Epsom dialysis unit catered for nine patients aged 18 to 65 years old and 43 patients aged over 65 years old.

There are two ‘treatment sessions’, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, for patients dialysed on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. There is one ‘treatment session’ in the morning for patients dialysed on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. The unit delivers appropriately 560 treatments per month.

We inspected this service using our comprehensive inspection methodology. We carried out the announced part of the inspection on 21 June 2017, along with an unannounced visit to the unit on 7 July 2017.

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.

Services we do not rate

We regulate this service but we do not currently have a legal duty to rate them. 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:

  • There was a clear governance strategy and staff knew their role and responsibilities in reporting risks and incidents. Incidents were investigated and actions taken in response to share learning.

  • The service had enough staff, with the appropriate training, they had regular supervision and managers supported them.

  • Staff were trained to the correct safeguarding levels for adults and children in accordance with national guidance.

  • The unit and equipment were visibly clean, with evidence of effective cleaning regimes and schedules in place. Staff were observed using effective precautions to maintain patient safety and reduce the risks of infection.

  • Equipment was maintained according to the manufacturer’s guidance, with an adequate supply to cover maintenance or breakages.

  • Staff escalated deteriorating patients appropriately. They had access to medical advice at the local NHS hospital and there was effective multidisciplinary team working.

  • Patients care and treatment was planned, recorded and delivered in line with current evidence-based guidance, standards, best practice and legislation.

  • Epsom dialysis unit had met all its key performance indicators between January and March 2017. The unit measured patients’ outcomes and used them to make improvements.

  • There were effective processes in place for gaining patient consent for treatment.

  • People were treated with dignity, respect and kindness. Staff encouraged patients to be partners in their care and in making decisions.

  • Staff supported patients’ changing dialysis days and or times and made arrangements when the patient went on holiday.

  • Facilities and premises were appropriate for the services being delivered.

  • A link nurse monitored vascular access and supported discussions with the referring NHS hospital.

  • There were monthly quality assurance meetings to assess and monitor the effectiveness of treatment and tailor individual patient’s dialysis plans.

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

  • Although the service had systems in place to grade the severity of clinical incidents we found that the grading system was not consistently used by staff.

  • The waste room and commercial waste bin were unlocked.

  • There were illegible labels on the sharp bins.

  • There was not a standardised way of identifying clean and ready to use dialysis stations.

  • There were omissions in the recording and actions taken following out of range room and fridge temperatures.

  • Staff did not always follow the Fresenius Medical Care Renal Services Limited medicines management policy.

  • FMC did not have a sepsis toolkit or care pathway.

  • Only the clinic manager had completed training in how to use the evacuation chair.

  • The FMC policies we reviewed did not contain a review date.

  • The unit failed to comply with the Accessible Information Standard (2016).

  • The service did not monitor patient wait times for treatment and ambulance response times.

  • The timeliness of the unit’s response to complaints was not clear.

  • The provider had not implemented the Workforce Race Equality Standards (WRES).

  • Staff did not know the organisation’s visions and strategy.

  • The risk register did not show risks specifically encountered at Epsom dialysis unit.

Following this inspection, we told the provider that it must take some actions to comply with the regulations and that it should make other improvements to help the service improve. We also issued the provider with two requirement notices. Details are at the end of the report.

Professor Edward Baker

Chief Inspector of Hospitals

Inspection carried out on 15 March 2013

During a routine inspection

We saw that the provider delivers a very specific treatment to the people who use the service. The people who use the service told us that they were very well informed of the treatment that they were receiving and were happy with the service that was being provided. The provider had a detailed treatment plan in place for each individual. Risk and infection control were well documented and featured high in daily recordings.

The staff are well supported through a induction and training programme. We saw the training that all staff had received and were happy to see such service specific support in place for employees. The provider carries out an auditing system to ensure that they obtain a understanding of service provision. Feedback from people who use the service is sought to ensure that the provider is meeting the needs of the individuals.