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Optimax Laser Eye Clinics - Maidstone

Inspection Summary

Overall summary & rating

Updated 21 September 2015

We inspected Optimax Maidstone on the 1st July 2015. This was a pilot comprehensive inspection to test our new methodology for inspecting specialist refractive eye surgery services. Therefore we did not rate this service. 

Optimax Maidstone is part of Optimax Clinics Limited, a large company established in 1991 which specialises in private laser eye and lens replacement surgery with facilities nation-wide. The clinic offered a wide variety of laser and non-laser vision correction treatments, such as laser assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK), laser epithelial keratomileusis (LASEK), refractive lens exchange (RLE), and implantable contact lens procedures on a private basis. The clinic did not treat children.

We found that services at the clinic protected patients from avoidable harm and there were systems to report and learn from incidents that were well understood by the staff we spoke with. There were systems to manage the risks associated with laser use. There were arrangements to prevent infection, although systems in relation to water safety were insufficiently robust. Staff knowledge of understanding the risks of adults in vulnerable circumstances needed improvement.

Patients experienced good clinical outcomes because they received effective care and treatment that met their needs and was in line with national guidance. There were arrangements to ensure that patients gave valid consent prior to their treatment. 

Patients were supported, treated with dignity and respect and were involved as partners in their care. Staff ensured that patients and those close to them received adequate psychological support.

Services were organised and delivered to meet patients individual needs and circumstances and were designed to be convenient and flexible. Patients were provided with literature with comprehensive information about their care and treatment, which was supplemented by face-to-face consultations.

There were arrangements to ensure the needs of those with physical difficulties could be met and the environment was pleasant and appropriate for the service delivered.

Patients complaints were treated seriously, they were investigated, actions were taken and people received appropriate responses.

The leadership, governance and culture promoted the delivery of safe and effective care.

However there were also areas of concern where the provider needs to make improvements.

The provider should:

  • Ensure its complaints responses meet CQC guidance in relation to informing patients how to escalate concerns if they are unsatisfied with a response.
  • Ensure staff have a clear understanding of safeguarding adults in vulnerable circumstances and assessment of mental capacity in the context of a refractive eye surgery clinic.
  • Ensure there is an effective system for monitoring water safety which meets national guidance. 
  • Ensure that medical gases are stored appropriately.
  • Review its water quality testing in order to meet corporate policy requirements.
  • Review its storage to ensure there are no further instances of medical gases being stored alongside combustible materials.

Professor Sir Mike Richards

Chief Inspector of Hospitals

Inspection areas


Updated 21 September 2015


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Checks on specific services


Updated 21 September 2015