7th November 2022
3 minute read

Cataract care at Stockton eye hospital rated ‘outstanding’ by Care Quality Commission

The independent regulator of health and social care in England has awarded SpaMedica Stockton-on-Tees the highest possible rating following a recent inspection. Patients who attend the eye hospital for cataract surgery and YAG laser capsulotomy receive ‘outstanding’ care, according to a report published by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in October.

Inspectors assessed how safe, caring, effective, well-led and responsive the hospital’s services are and reported that “outcomes for patients were positive, consistent and exceeded expectations… the hospital consistently achieved better clinical outcomes for patients compared to similar services.” They highlighted the warm and welcoming environment at the hospital, stating: “Staff treated patients with compassion and kindness, respected their privacy and dignity, took account of their individual needs, and helped them understand their conditions.” As a result, “Feedback from patients was continually positive about the way staff treated people.” 

Comments from patients included: “The treatment I received from you all was so professional, friendly and every need taken care of” and “I want to thank you all wholeheartedly for the exceptional treatment I received from the welcoming team … I was so apprehensive but was put at ease throughout.”  

The Stockton site is one of 46 hospitals operated by SpaMedica, the UK’s largest provider of NHS cataract surgery. Since the hospital opened in October 2020, it has performed more than 5,040 NHS cataract surgeries and received multiple 5-star patient reviews on NHS Choices. It also boasts a specialist ‘dry lab’ training suite, where surgeons can practise their skills on synthetic eyes using the latest equipment and technology. Inspectors noted that the dry lab is used by NHS surgeons, as well as SpaMedica’s own staff, and praised the hospital for forming strong relationships with their local NHS trust and creating more training and development opportunities for the sector. 

Inspectors went on to highlight that patients did not have to wait long for treatment: “When we spoke to patients in the preoperative lounge no one had waited longer than was expected,” and praised the hospital for its transport service, which is provided free of charge to patients who would otherwise struggle to access its services.  

Area manager, Vinnie Cara, said: “We’re thrilled with the results of the report, which is a testament to the hard work of every single person in our team. We’re all passionate about providing the highest standards of care for our patients and helping them to get their independence and quality of life back, and it’s great to see that commitment recognised by the Care Quality Commission. We’ll continue offering the best service we can to everyone who attends our hospital.”   

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

  • The service had a bespoke training programme for staff, which provided one to one training support and professional development opportunities for staff. 
  • The hospital’s complication rates were well below the national average
  • The service provided a 24-hour, seven day on call service for patients. 
  • Patients’ video stories were available to view on the website for patients to watch prior to their procedure, providing reassurance and information. 
  • The service provided free artificial tear drops to patients to prevent them experiencing ‘dry eyes’ after their procedure. 

Well done to our Stockton team!

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