Care Quality Commission inspectors carried out an inspection of the privately run London Eye Hospital after complaints from patients who had been treated there.
The London Eye Hospital Limited operates from two locations: 4 Harley Street and 29a Wimpole Street, in central London, both of which were inspected during October 2017.
As part of the inspection CQC reviewed 10 complaints. All had been investigated and responded to by the hospital. The London Eye Hospital responded to patients who had not been satisfied that there had been an improvement in vision following surgery.
The hospital said that in future they would manage patients’ expectations of lens implant surgery by highlighting that there is a risk of not noticing an improvement in vision following surgery due to the nature of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Staff also said they would make patients aware that in some cases there may be deterioration in vision after surgery due to the natural progression of the condition as opposed to the lens not working.
In August 2017, CQC received information raising concerns about aspects of treatment and care provided at the London Eye Hospital (both locations). These concerns were about:
- The safety of the type of lens patients were consulted on at Harley Street and had implanted at the Wimpole Street location where surgery takes place.
- Failure to seek patients’ consent to care and treatment in line with legislation and guidance by staff at the hospital.
- Patients not being informed of the risks related to the lens implant surgery.
- A lack of systems and processes to allow people using the service to make complaints.
- Failure to monitor patient outcomes at the hospital.
- Staff failing to observe patients’ privacy during pre-operative checks.
The inspection found:
- The hospital had stopped implanting the type of lens CQC had received concerns about.
- There was evidence staff sought patients’ consent and explained the risks of surgery prior to surgery taking place.
- Staff informed patients of the risks related to the lens implants at various stages of consultation.
- The hospital had a complaints procedure in place and information about how to make a complaint was available to patients attending the hospital.
- There was some monitoring of patient outcomes using both audits and post-operative appointments.
- Staff observed patients’ privacy during consultation and post-operative checks.
- There was some monitoring of patient outcomes but there was no routine measurement of whether the service was effective.
- The hospital did not respond to four out of 10 complaints within 20 working days as per their policy.
- The service did not have a registered manager at the time of or inspection. Having a registered manager is a condition of registration with the Care Quality Commission.
Amanda Stanford, Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals, said:
“CQC took action to inspect the London Eye Hospital at both of its locations after complaints from a number of patients."
“While the hospital does need to make some improvements and change the way it carries out some of its procedures, our inspection did find that the hospital was generally providing care in line with current practice.”
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