You are here

The Original Window To The Womb Good


Inspection carried out on 7 June 2019

During a routine inspection

The Original Window to the Womb is operated by The Original Window to the Womb Limited. The service is delivered from a baby scan studio in Nottingham four days a week and a satellite studio in Sheffield once or twice a month. The service provides non-diagnostic 2D, 3D and 4D scans, gender identification scans and keepsake images for pregnant women. The service accepts self-referred, self-funded women between the ages of 18 and 45 years of age

We inspected the service using our inspection framework for ‘independent single speciality providers of keepsake/souvenir baby scans using diagnostic ultrasound equipment’.

We inspected this service using our comprehensive inspection methodology. We carried out the short notice announced inspection on 07 June 2019.

To get to the heart of peoples’ 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 rate

Our rating of this service stayed the same. We rated it as Good overall.

We found the following areas of good practice:

  • The service had enough staff with the right qualifications, skills, training and experience to keep people safe from avoidable harm and to provide a safe service.
  • The service had adequate well-maintained equipment and the facilities were clean, comfortable and appropriate for the service being delivered.
  • Suitable wellbeing checks were carried out before scans were performed, systems and processes were in place to escalate care in the event of a scan anomaly or medical emergency.
  • Personal information was managed well, records were completed fully and information was stored securely.
  • Procedures were in place to report and investigate incidents, staff were aware of the duty of candour and there was a culture of openness and honesty. ‘How to complain’ information was easily accessible to clients and the public.
  • Scans were carried out in line with evidence-based guidance and recommended standards and the service kept up to date with changes and developments in ultrasound scanning. The service monitored outcomes appropriate to the procedure.
  • The team delivering the service worked well together and understood each other’s roles. Referral pathways had been developed in collaboration with other health services and staff had easy access to other health care professionals if needed.
  • Information was available in different formats so women were able to make informed choices about the type of scan they wanted and any possible risks and side effects.
  • The team were passionate about delivering a positive experience to women and their families. Women and their families were treated in a caring way with dignity and respect. Everyone attending the scan was involved in the experience. Women could contact the provider following the scan if they had any concerns.
  • The service was easy to access, reasonable adjustments had been made so women with a disability and their families could access the service. Information was available in different languages.
  • Appointments were available in the evening and weekends, there was no waiting list or cancellation of appointments.
  • Managers had the skills and abilities to run the service, were visible and were supportive towards staff. They were committed to delivering the vision and values of the service and promoted a positive culture that valued staff.
  • Governance processes reflected the service being delivered, most risks were identified, assessed and managed and plans were in place to manage unplanned emergencies.
  • Managers considered feedback from staff and clients and proactively sought to develop and make improvements to the service.

We found the following areas of outstanding practice:

  • Feedback from women who used the service and those who were close to them was continually positive about the way staff treated them. There was a strong visible person-centred culture, staff were highly motivated and inspired to offer care that was kind and promoted dignity.
  • Women could access the service and appointments in a way and at a time that suited them. Technology was used innovatively to ensure timely access to support and care.

We found the following areas of practice that required improvement:

  • The provider did not have a defined list of mandatory and statutory training.
  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)2018 was not included in the information governance policy.
  • The provider should ensure that electrical wiring in the staff/kitchen room should be housed safely.
  • The provider did not use a practitioner checklist for ultrasound examinations as recommended by the British Medical Ultrasound Society.
  • The provider should ensure that products subject to Control of Substances Hazardous to Health should be stored in a locked cupboard at all times.
  • The service had systems in place to identify risks but they were not always effective. We identified some risks during our inspection and raised these with the provider. The provider took immediate action to eliminate or reduce them.

Following this inspection, we told the provider that it should take some actions, even though a regulation had not been breached, to help the service improve.

Nigel Acheson

Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals

Inspection carried out on 14 February 2014

During a routine inspection

We spoke with four people who use the service. They told us they were happy with the service and the explanations given about the ultrasound scan. They confirmed they were treated with respect and their dignity and privacy was maintained. People also said they felt more comfortable and relaxed as the environment was not �clinical.�

Specialised equipment was used for the ultrasound scanning. We saw the equipment was clean and in a good state of repair. We saw records which confirmed servicing was taking place. Only the sonographer (this is the person who carries out ultrasound scans) used the equipment for ultrasound scanning and they were qualified and experienced in its use.

We saw that the manager was carrying out checks of the professional registration of the sonographers who worked at Window to the Womb Limited. Sonographers are required to register with a professional body called the Health and Care Professions Council.

There was an effective complaints system available. The manager took account of any complaints to try and improve the service.