23rd May 2023
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Newcastle-under-Lyme becomes 12th SpaMedica hospital to achieve an ‘Outstanding’ CQC rating

SpaMedica in Newcastle-under-Lyme has been awarded the highest possible rating following a recent inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), the independent regulator of health and social care in England. Inspectors awarded the eye hospital – which specialises in NHS cataract surgery, YAG laser capsulotomy, and wet AMD treatment – top marks for being caring and responsive to people’s needs, leading to an overall rating of ‘Outstanding’. 

In their report – which was published on the CQC’s website this week – inspectors noted that patients benefitted from excellent outcomes following their treatment and were very happy with the standard of care they received: 

“Patients reported positive results from their surgery and those we spoke to felt that they had experienced an immediate improvement… Patient satisfaction feedback showed that 99.9% of patients said that waiting times, hospital facilities and the outcome of their treatment was very good. We saw a variety of cards and gifts from patients complimenting the staff following their visit. 

The Newcastle-under-Lyme site, based on Lymedale Business Park, is one of 47 hospitals across the UK operated by SpaMedica, the UK’s largest provider of NHS cataract surgery. Since the hospital opened in April 2019, it has performed thousands of surgeries and received over 400 5-star patient reviews on NHS Choices.   

Staff were also praised for their work in supporting patients with additional needs. Inspectors noted that staff created displays, memory books and visual aids to help patients better understand their treatment and took extra time to understand individual patients’ personal, cultural, and religious needs and adapted their approach to support patients.” Staff also undertook specialist training that allowed them to experience what life is like for people living with reduced vision, giving them a greater understanding of the difficulties some patients face. 

From January – December 2022, patients only had to wait an average of five weeks from referral to treatment, compared to a national benchmark of 18 weeks, and this has reduced even further in 2023, with waiting times now averaging four weeks.   

Patients who require transport to and from the hospital benefit from a free door-to-door transport service, which has been invaluable for patients whose friends or family members aren’t available to take them to their appointments.  

SpaMedica Newcastle-under-Lyme’s hospital manager, Lisa Moors, said: “I’m so proud of my team, whose hard work and commitment to giving patients the best possible care has led to us securing a fantastic inspection outcome. It was lovely to read the positive feedback from both inspectors and patients and we look forward to improving the vision of many more people in the future.”    

Newcastle-under-Lyme is the 12th SpaMedica hospital to achieve an ‘outstanding’ rating. All 29 of SpaMedica’s hospitals that have been inspected to date have been rated as good or outstanding.  

Other key findings from the report include:  

  • Staff managed safety well, and the hospital was maintained and cleaned to a high standard.  
  • The service planned care to meet the needs of local people and made it easy for people to give feedback.  
  • Leaders ran services well using reliable information systems and supported staff to develop their skills. 

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