14th December 2022
4 minute read

Cataract care at Gloucester eye hospital graded as ‘outstanding’ by Care Quality Commission

The independent regulator of health and social care in England has awarded SpaMedica Gloucester the highest possible rating following an inspection that took place in November 2022. NHS patients who attend the eye hospital for cataract surgery and YAG laser capsulotomy receive ‘outstanding’ care, according to a recent report published by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Inspectors gave the hospital top marks for being effective, caring, and responsive to people’s needs and noted the quality of surgery provided to patients was outstanding. They praised the hospital for creating “a strong patient-centred culture” where “staff created a welcoming and safe environment for their patients.” As a result, “Patients were overwhelmingly positive about how staff treated them… We saw a display board with many thank you cards and letters from patients who had used the service” and “a patient told us how staff ‘fell over themselves to make sure they were comfortable.’”

Referral to treatment times at the eye hospital, which is based on Olympus Business Park, were described as “much better than the England average,” with patients waiting “an average of 4.74 weeks to be seen by the service against an NHS target of 18 weeks.” Qualifying patients also benefitted from a free transport service to and from their appointments.

Complication rates at the hospital were well below the national average, with no incidences of endophthalmitis (an infection of the tissues or fluids inside the eyeball) within the last 12 months. 95% of patients regained driving standard vision (or better) after cataract surgery, significantly improving their quality of life.

The Gloucester site is one of 46 hospitals operated by SpaMedica, the UK’s largest provider of NHS cataract surgery. Since the hospital opened in December 2020, it has performed more than 3,850 NHS cataract surgeries and received multiple 5-star patient reviews on NHS Choices.

Hospital manager, Sarah Sheehan, said: “The team is thrilled to have their hard work recognised by the Care Quality Commission and it’s wonderful to read some of the feedback patients shared with inspectors during their visit. Patient care, safety and satisfaction are our highest priorities and it’s really rewarding to see that reflected in the report. I’m incredibly proud of the team and the commitment they show every day.”

“Cataract surgery can be a bit nerve-wracking for people when they don’t know the ins and outs of what’s involved, so we always take the time to reassure patients that it’s a quick and painless procedure with no needles or injections involved, and our surgeons have thousands of successful surgeries under their belts. We love it when patients pop in to tell us that having their cataracts removed has given them a new lease of life, and we look forward to welcoming many more patients in the future.”

Gloucester is the eighth SpaMedica hospital to achieve an ‘outstanding’ rating. All of SpaMedica’s hospitals that have been inspected to date have been rated as ‘good’ or ‘outstanding.’

SpaMedica Gloucester’s inspection report is available to view on the CQC website. Other key findings include:

  • Staff had training in key skills, understood how to protect patients, and managed safety well.
  • Staff provided care and treatment based on national guidance and evidence-based practice.
  • Staff worked well together for the benefit of patients, provided advice and information on living well and supported them to make decisions about their care. Key services were available seven days a week.
  • Staff treated patients 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 patients, families and carers.
  • Leaders ran services well using reliable information systems and supported staff to develop their skills.

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