19th August 2022
4 minute read

Cataract care at Preston eye hospital graded as ‘outstanding’ by industry inspectors

Patients who attend SpaMedica Preston for cataract treatment receive ‘outstanding’ care and benefit from ‘outstanding’ surgery, according to a recent inspection report published by industry regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC), which states that outcomes for patients were “positive, consistent and exceeded expectations” and the hospital “consistently achieved better clinical outcomes for patients compared to similar services.”

The CQC awarded SpaMedica Preston the highest possible overall rating, praising staff’s commitment to patient care. The inspection report notes that, “Feedback from patients was continually positive… Patients said the service was “excellent”, “brilliant”, and that they had been kept well informed throughout their treatment. One patient said, “everything the service had done had been outstanding.””

In their key findings, inspectors highlighted how vital SpaMedica’s free patient transport service is for patients who would otherwise struggle to attend their appointments and praised the hospital for its low interoperative complication rates, which are less than half the national average. They noted that SpaMedica Preston has helped to reduce the pressure on local NHS services by providing “a 24-hour, seven day on call service and managed any post-operative complication in house, whenever possible.” They also commended SpaMedica’s ophthalmic ‘dry lab’ training facility – the only one of its kind in the Northwest – where in-house surgeons and trainees were able to practise and perfect surgical procedures using synthetic eyes.

The Preston site is one of 43 hospitals across England operated by SpaMedica, the UK’s leading provider of NHS cataract surgery. Since the hospital opened in August 2019, it has performed just under 12,000 NHS cataract surgeries, with inspectors highlighting that patients benefit from short waiting times to receive treatment: “Waiting times from referral to treatment and arrangements to admit, treat and discharge patients were consistently better than national standards… when speaking to patients in the preoperative lounge no one had been waiting longer than was expected.”

Karen Knapton, CQC’s head of hospital inspection, said: “When we inspected SpaMedica Preston, we were extremely impressed by the level of care people received. Attending hospital for any kind of medical procedure can be daunting but staff put patients at ease immediately upon arrival, explained their treatment and were extremely caring, kind and respectful throughout their stay.

“We could see that all staff were happy in their jobs and enjoyed providing the best possible care for people. Feedback about the service was consistently positive and the whole team deserve to be congratulated for all their hard work and commitment.”

Following the inspection, SpaMedica Preston was rated ‘outstanding’ overall and ‘outstanding’ for being effective, caring and responsive to people’s needs. It was rated ‘good’ for being safe and well-led.

Hospital manager, Lisa Brundrett, said: “We pride ourselves on giving patients the best care and treatment possible and it’s wonderful to see everyone’s hard work recognised by the Care Quality Commission. We’re absolutely thrilled to be graded as ‘outstanding’ and I know our fantastic team will strive to maintain the same standards going forward.

Cataract surgery can be nerve-wracking for many patients, so we try to make the experience as stress-free as possible, talking them through what to expect, making sure they have access to all the information they need, and answering any questions they have. Knowing they’re coming to a top-rated treatment provider will hopefully help to put their minds at rest too.

Lots of patients come to see us after their surgery and tell us we’ve given them a new lease of life and it’s incredibly rewarding to know we’re helping them to get out and about again and resume the hobbies they love, whether that’s watching telly, reading a book, or cross-stitching!”

All SpaMedica’s hospitals that have been inspected by the Care Quality Commission to date have been rated as ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ and over 8,200 patients have given SpaMedica’s hospitals five-star ratings on the NHS.UK website.

SpaMedica Preston’s inspection report is available to view on the CQC website. Some of its key findings include:

  • People could access the service when they needed it and did not have to wait too long for treatment.
  • The hospital consistently achieved better clinical outcomes for patients compared to similar services.
  • Staff treated patients with compassion and kindness, took account of their individual needs, and helped them understand their conditions.
  • Staff felt respected, supported and valued and were focused on the needs of patients receiving care.
  • Feedback from patients was consistently positive.
  • Staff understood the service’s vision and values, and how to apply them in their work and were passionate about the values of ‘Every Patient, Every Time, No Excuses’.
  • Staff were encouraged to put forward improvement ideas and were rewarded if they were used.

Well done to our Preston team!

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