• Hospital
  • Independent hospital

The Birth Company

Overall: Requires improvement read more about inspection ratings

Alderley Edge Medical Centre, Talbot Road, Alderley Edge, SK9 7HR

Provided and run by:
The Birth Company Limited

Latest inspection summary

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Background to this inspection

Updated 8 July 2021

The Birth Company, opened in Alderley Edge in 2017, offers diagnostic pregnancy, gynaecological and fertility ultrasound scans to self-funding women over 18.

The Birth Company is located on the third floor of a newly refurbished medical centre and has a purpose-built facility for ultrasound and medical examination. The building is wheelchair accessible and has free on-site parking. The service has a reception area with two waiting areas with adequate seating. There are two identical scanning rooms, a meeting room and a staff room. The service has its own toilets.

This service has a sister clinic located in London.

The Birth Company offers a range of ultrasound diagnostic screening scans to pregnant mothers in relation to different stages of pregnancy:

  • early pregnancy scans/ viability scan/ dating ultrasound scan at 6 to 10 weeks’ gestation
  • Harmony, Panorama or SAFE Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT) from 10 weeks’ gestation, which is a blood screening test for three targeted chromosomal conditions of Down’s syndrome (T21), Edward’s syndrome (T18) or Patau's syndrome (T13)
  • nuchal translucency scans (prenatal screening scan to detect cardiovascular abnormalities in a fetus) at 11 to 14 weeks’ gestation
  • reassurance scans / early anatomy scans at 12 to 24 weeks’ gestation
  • sexing scan, gender scan from 16 weeks’ gestation
  • anomaly scan / anatomy scan / morphology scan at 18 to 24 weeks’ gestation
  • cervical / cervix length scan at 14 to 36 weeks’ gestation
  • fetal wellbeing / growth scan, includes doppler scan and presentation at 23 to 40 weeks’ gestation
  • 3D/4D scan (HD live) at 26 to 32 weeks’ gestation.

The service also carries out general gynaecology scanning and assists In vitro fertilization (IVF) clinics abroad for patients who are undergoing fertility treatment. It performs gynaecological scans, follicle tracking and endometrial lining scans.

During the pandemic, the service stopped offering non-essential investigations such as fertility assessment, sexing scans and 4D scans.

The Birth Company is registered for the following regulated activities:

  • Diagnostic and screening procedures.
  • Maternity and midwifery services.
  • Treatment of disease, disorder or injury.
  • Family planning.

We inspected diagnostic and screening services provided by this clinic.

The service has had the same registered manager since 2017.

This is the first time this location has been inspected.

We carried out a transitional monitoring call with the service on 12 February 2021. The transitional regulatory approach is a consistent and structured approach to monitoring and relationship management, with clear areas of focus based on a streamline set of Key Lines of Enquiry, through the Transitional Monitoring Activity. Information gathered during this call prompted the need for us to inspect the service.

Overall inspection

Requires improvement

Updated 8 July 2021

We rated this location as Requires Improvement because:

  • The service did not always provide mandatory training in key skills to staff or made sure that all staff completed it. Staff did not have the required level of training to enable them to always recognise and report abuse. Policies to keep people safe lacked detail and were not clear. The service did not always control infection risk well or use sufficient control measures to protect women, themselves, and others from infection. They did not use systems or processes to manage or store medicines. Managers did not always investigate incidents or share lessons learned.
  • Managers did not always monitor the effectiveness of care and treatment to make improvements and achieved good outcomes for women. They did not always make sure staff were competent as staff records revealed gaps in pre-recruitment checks.
  • The service was not always inclusive and did not always take into account women's individual needs. For example, it did not identify, meet, or support the information and communication needs for women with a learning disability, impairment, or sensory loss.
  • Managers did not always understand and manage the information available to them to support improvements. They did not operate effective governance processes or have systems to manage performance effectively to enable them to make decisions and improvements. They did not always discuss shared learning from audits or incidents. The service did not always engage well with women to plan and manage services.


  • The service had enough staff to care for women and keep them safe. Staff assessed risks to women, acted on them and kept good care records. Staff collected safety information.
  • Staff provided good care and treatment. They worked well together for the benefit of women, advised them on how to lead healthier lives, supported them to make decisions about their care, and had access to good information.
  • Staff treated women with compassion and kindness, respected their privacy and dignity, and helped them understand their conditions. They provided emotional support to women and those that accompanied them.
  • The service planned care to meet the needs of local people and made it easy for them to give feedback. People could access the service when they needed it and did not have to wait too long for their results.
  • Staff felt supported to develop their skills. Staff felt respected, supported, and valued. They were focused on the needs of women receiving care. Staff were clear about their roles and accountabilities. Staff were committed to improving services.