• Hospital
  • Independent hospital

The Solace SARC - Slough

Upton Hospital, Albert Street, Slough, Berkshire, SL1 2BJ (01753) 571432

Provided and run by:
G4S Health Services (UK) Limited

Important: The provider of this service changed. See old profile

All Inspections

23 February 2021

During a routine inspection

We carried out this announced inspection over three days, 22-24th February, under Section 60 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 as part of our regulatory functions. We planned the inspection to check whether the registered provider was meeting the legal requirements in the Health and Social Care Act 2008 and associated regulations. The inspection was led by a CQC inspector who was supported by a specialist professional advisor.

To get to the heart of patients’ experiences of care and treatment, we always ask the following five questions:

• Is it safe?

• Is it effective?

• Is it caring?

• Is it responsive to people’s needs?

• Is it well-led?

These questions form the framework for the areas we look at during the inspection.


The Solace Centre inspected is based in Slough, and offers a range of support services to children and adults living within the Slough area who have experienced sexual abuse or sexual violence, either recently or in the past. The service provided in this area by G4S Limited, operates from two sites, one in Slough which covers the South of the Thames valley, and one in Bicester covering the North. The Solace SARC services are available 24/7 to help people that have been affected by sexual abuse and sexual violence. The site manager, clinicians and crisis workers work across the two sites.

As a condition of the service provided by G4S, they must have a person registered with the Care Quality Commission as the registered manager. Registered managers have legal responsibility for meeting the requirements in the Health and Social Care Act 2008 and associated regulations about how the service is run. The registered manager for Solace has oversight of more than one Sexual Abuse Referral Centre (SARC), this person is supported in the role by the SARC manager for the Slough and Bicester SARC.

The service employs both forensic medical and nurse examiners. Children and young people under the age of 18yrs are seen by forensic medical examiners (FME) and forensic nurse examiners (FNE) see the adult cases. In the case of children and young people with complex needs a local paediatrician can be requested to support the FME with examinations. Crisis workers form part of the team assisting the forensic examiners and supporting the clients.

The service is located within Upton Hospital grounds with discrete sign posting and has full access for people who use wheelchairs and those with pushchairs. Free car parking spaces are available at the hospital including spaces for blue badge holders.

During the inspection, we spoke with the registered manager, the clinical lead, two forensic medical examiners (FME), two forensic nurse examiners (FNE), two crisis workers, a police representative and a counselling service representative who work closely with the SARC. We also looked at policies and procedures and other records about how the service is managed.

*The term Sexual Offences Examiners (SOE) used in the report is an inclusive term for forensic medical examiners and forensic nurse examiners.

Our key findings were:

  • The service had effective leadership and staff told us they felt well supported.
  • The service had appropriate information governance arrangements and systems to help manage risk.
  • The service had thorough staff recruitment procedures in place.
  • The areas we looked at within the centre appeared clean and sufficiently maintained.
  • The staff used infection control procedures which reflected published guidance.
  • Appropriate medicines and life-saving equipment were available, and staff trained and supported to use them.
  • Staff knew how to deal with emergencies.
  • The staff followed suitable safeguarding processes and knew their responsibilities for safeguarding adults and children.
  • Systems were in place to support multi-agency working.
  • The appointment and referral system met patient’s needs.
  • The clinical staff provided patients’ care and treatment in line with current guidelines.
  • Staff treated patients with dignity and respect and took care to protect their privacy and personal information.
  • The provider asked patients for feedback to obtain their views about the services provided.

There were areas where the provider could make improvements. They should:

  • ensure that it develops and provides a range of information in different languages and formats to meet the needs of the population it services.
  • ensure storage rooms are equipped to store all items off the floor to minimise infection control risk.
  • obtain the safety maintenance schedule for the SARC from the Hospital Trust to increase their assurance that the building is being monitored appropriately.
  • ensure staff are confident in the criteria for escalating medication errors as incidents.
  • ensure records are fully completed including a descriptive of vulnerability when identified.