• Hospital
  • Independent hospital

ScanLinc Early Pregnancy Service

Overall: Good read more about inspection ratings

Greetwell Place, 2 Lime Kiln Way, Lincoln, Lincolnshire, LN2 4US (01522) 244110

Provided and run by:
Samantha Northway

Latest inspection summary

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Background to this inspection

Updated 9 April 2020

ScanLinc Early Pregnancy Service provides an ultrasound service and non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) for the Women of Lincolnshire, North Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire. Primarily the service provides care, opinion and reassurance to women and their families in the early weeks of their pregnancies.

The service was set up in October 2018. It is a private ultrasound service for pregnant women, based in a shared building owned by the local authority. Women self-refer themselves to the service and self-pay for all appointments. The service does not see women on behalf of the NHS.

The service offers appointments for ultrasound scans and non-invasive pre-natal testing to pregnant women aged 18 and over.

ScanLinc is staffed by two Midwife Sonographers who are both qualified and registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

The hospital has had a registered manager in post since October 2018.

The facility operates from a single office and is based in Greetwell Place in the city of Lincoln, which is a City Council owned managed workspace with car parking and reception staff and facilities. There is disabled access and toilets and a lift for access to the first floor. The service has a reception that is manned Monday to Friday. Appointments are offered on Mondays and Tuesday through to Saturday.

We inspected this service on 14 and 18 February 2020 using our comprehensive inspection methodology. The inspection visit on 14 February was unannounced (staff did not know we were coming).

Arrangements for emergency patient care for example, in the event of cardiac arrest, are via a 999 call to the paramedic ambulance service. Staff have basic life support training and the registered manager is trained in first aid. There is a first aid equipment box in the clinic room.

There have been no previous inspections of the service.

Overall inspection


Updated 9 April 2020

ScanLinc Early Pregnancy Service is an early pregnancy private ultrasound service providing care for the women and families of Lincolnshire and surrounding areas. The service has one location - Greetwell Place, which is a City Council owned managed workspace with car parking and reception staff and facilities.

The service provides an ultrasound scan service to pregnant women aged 18 and over for reassurance in early pregnancy, gender opinion and a 3/4D experience. The service also offers screening in the form of non-invasive pre-natal testing (NIPT).

We inspected this service using our comprehensive inspection methodology. We carried out an unannounced inspection (staff did not know we were coming) on 14 February 2020 and carried out a further announced visit on 18 February 2020.

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 rate

We have not previously rated this service and cannot therefore compare ratings with the last inspection. We rated it as Good overall.

We found good practice in the ScanLinc service:

  • The premises and facilities of the service were appropriate, well maintained and visibly clean.
  • Infection prevention control guidance was consistently followed.
  • There was good partnership working and communication with other local healthcare providers to manage any unexpected or abnormal findings.
  • Women and staff reported that the service was very responsive, and we saw that women were able to be offered appointments quickly.
  • There was an overwhelming focus on delivering good quality patient care. Extended appointment slots meant that women received plenty of time. We observed that time was taken to provide information and advice and time was given for women to asks questions. The service demonstrated an extremely caring approach at all times which was commented on by nearly all women who provided feedback.
  • There was a very positive culture within the service with both staff demonstrating exceptional enthusiasm and passion in their work.

However, we also found areas of practice that required improvement in the ScanLinc service:

  • Complaints information in the form of leaflets or posters was not widely available meaning it may not be easy for women to know how to raise concerns or make a complaint.
  • Risk assessment templates lacked detail and risks were not rated or regularly reviewed.
  • There was no documented process for investigating incidents, identifying areas for learning and sharing this.
  • Not all women had the opportunity to provide feedback as comments cards were issued at random, and not routinely to all women.
  • There was no formal appraisal of the staff member working for the service, hence learning and development needs were not identified.
  • Staff had not completed any recent training in relation to the Mental Capacity Act in order to be able to assess women’s capacity to consent and make decisions about their care.

However, we found that the registered manager was very responsive to the concerns raised and took prompt action to put processes in place to address most of the concerns raised within two weeks of us completing the inspection. These actions are identified within the report.

Following this inspection, we told the provider that it should take some actions to make improvements, even though a regulation had not been breached, to help the service improve. Details are at the end of the report.

Heidi Smoult

Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals (Midlands region)

Diagnostic imaging


Updated 9 April 2020

We rated it as good because:

  • The service had enough staff to provide the service and keep women safe. Staff had training in key skills, understood how to protect women from abuse, and managed safety well. The service controlled infection risk well. Staff assessed risks to women, acted on them and kept good care records.
  • Staff provided good care and treatment. Managers made sure staff were competent. Staff 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. The service was available five days a week.
  • Staff treated women with compassion and kindness, respected their privacy and dignity, took account of their individual needs, and helped them understand their conditions. They provided emotional support to women, families and carers.
  • The service planned care to meet the needs of local people, took account of women’s individual needs. People could access the service when they needed it and did not have to wait too long for appointments.
  • Leaders ran services well using reliable information systems and supported staff to develop their skills. Staff understood the service’s vision and values, and how to apply them in their work. Staff felt respected, supported and valued. They were focused on the needs of women receiving care. Staff were clear about their roles and accountabilities. All staff were committed to improving services continually.


  • The service had a process to report safety incidents but did not have systems for investigating them and sharing the lessons learned.
  • There were not established systems for monitoring the effectiveness and responsiveness of the service.
  • The service did not routinely offer the opportunity for all women to provide feedback about their experience.
  • The service did not display information about how women could complain.