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Inspection Summary


Overall summary & rating

Good

Updated 23 July 2019

Window to the Womb is operated by Judge Limited, and is located in Balby; a suburb of Doncaster, in the county of South Yorkshire. The service operates under a franchise agreement with Window to the Womb (Franchise) Ltd. The service is an independent healthcare provider offering antenatal ultrasound imaging and diagnostic services to self-funding or private patients over 16 years of age.

Window to the Womb (Doncaster) has separated their services into two clinics. These are comprised of a ‘Firstscan’ clinic, which specialises in early pregnancy scans (from six to 15 weeks of pregnancy), and a ‘Window to the Womb’ clinic, which offers later pregnancy scans (from 16 weeks of pregnancy).

We inspected the service using our comprehensive inspection methodology. We carried out a short-announced inspection on 21 May 2019; giving staff two working days’ notice. We had to conduct a short-announced inspection because the service was only open if patient demand required it.

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 fundamental standards.

Services we rate

We had not previously inspected this service. We rated it as Good overall.

We found the following areas of good practice:

  • The service made sure staff were competent for their roles. Staff had the right qualifications, skills, training and experience to keep people safe from harm and deliver effective care and treatment. There were established referral pathways to NHS antenatal care providers.

  • Staff understood how to protect patients from abuse and the service had systems to do so.

  • There were clear processes for staff to raise concerns and report incidents; and staff understood their roles and responsibilities. The service treated concerns and complaints seriously, and had systems to investigate them. Lessons learned were shared with the whole team and the wider service.

  • The environment was appropriate for the service being delivered, was patient centred, and was accessible to all women.

  • Staff cared for patients with kindness and compassion. We saw considerable evidence of positive feedback from women who had used the service.

  • Staff provided emotional support to patients to minimise their distress. Scan assistants acted as chaperones during ultrasound scans to ensure women felt comfortable and received optimum emotional support.

  • Staff understood the importance of obtaining informed consent, and involved patients and those close to them in decisions about their care and treatment. To help ensure good standards of communication, scan assistants periodically assessed sonographers for their quality of customer care and service, standard of communication, and overall customer experience.

  • Managers in the service and had the right skills and abilities to run a service providing high-quality sustainable care and promoted a positive culture.

  • The service was committed to improving services, had a vision for what it wanted to achieve, and engaged well with patients and staff to plan and manage services.

Ellen Armistead

Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals (North)

Inspection areas

Safe

Good

Updated 23 July 2019

We had not previously inspected this service. We rated safe as Good because:

  • The service provided mandatory training in key skills to all employed staff; and ensured contracted (self-employed) staff had undertaken relevant training.

  • Staff understood how to protect patients from abuse and the service had systems in place to do so.

  • There were processes for staff to raise concerns and report incidents. Staff understood their roles and responsibilities to raise concerns and record safety incidents. Lessons learned were shared with the whole team and the wider service.

  • The service had suitable premises and equipment and looked after them well. Staff kept the equipment and the premises clean. The environment promoted the privacy and dignity of women.

  • Staff completed and updated risk assessments for each patient and kept detailed records of patients’ care and treatment. Records were securely stored and available to all staff providing care.

Effective

Updated 23 July 2019

Caring

Good

Updated 23 July 2019

We had not previously inspected this service. We rated caring as Good because:

  • Staff cared for patients with compassion. Feedback from patients confirmed that staff treated them well and with kindness.

  • Staff provided emotional support to patients to minimise their distress.

  • Staff involved patients and those close to them in decisions about their care and treatment.

Responsive

Good

Updated 23 July 2019

We had not previously inspected this service. We rated responsive as Good because:

  • The service planned and provided services in a way that met the needs of local people.

  • The service took account of patients’ individual needs.

  • People could access the service when they needed it.

  • The service treated concerns and complaints seriously, and had systems to investigate them, learn lessons from the results, and share these with all staff.

Well-led

Good

Updated 23 July 2019

We had not previously inspected this service. We rated well-led as Good because:

  • The registered manager and clinic manager had the right skills and abilities to run a service providing high-quality sustainable care. They promoted a positive culture, creating a sense of common purpose based on shared values.

  • The service had systems to identify risks and plans to eliminate or reduce them.

  • The service systematically improved service quality and safeguarded high standards of care by creating an environment for excellent care to flourish.

  • The service engaged well with women, staff and the public to plan and manage appropriate services and collaborated with partner organisations effectively.

  • The service had a vision for what it wanted to achieve and workable plans to turn it into action; and was committed to improving services by learning from when things went well or wrong, and promoting training and innovation.

Checks on specific services

Diagnostic imaging

Good

Updated 23 July 2019

Window to the Womb (Doncaster) is an independent healthcare provider offering antenatal ultrasound imaging and diagnostic services to self-funding or private patients over 16 years of age. The service offers an

early pregnancy clinic (from six to 15 weeks of pregnancy), and a later pregnancy clinic (from 16 weeks of pregnancy).

Depending on the type of scan performed, these might involve checking the location of the pregnancy, dating of the pregnancy, determination of sex, and fetal presentation at the time of appointment. Patients are provided with ultrasound video or scan images, and an accompanying verbal explanation and written report.