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.
Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals (Midlands region)