Cataract care at Wakefield hospital praised as ‘exemplary’, with regulator awarding SpaMedica ‘outstanding’ rating

Inspectors commended how SpaMedica even arranged overnight accommodation for patients stranded in the snow

Patients who attend SpaMedica in Wakefield for cataract treatment receive ‘outstanding’ care that helps them ‘lead more fulfilling lives’ afterwards – according to the latest inspection by industry regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The CQC awarded SpaMedica’s Wakefield hospital the highest possible overall rating, praising its ‘exemplary level of care’ and advising that other providers could learn from its service.

The Wakefield site is one of 38 hospitals across England operated by SpaMedica, the UK-leading provider of NHS cataract surgery. Since the hospital opened in 2016, it has performed more than 20,000 NHS cataract surgeries, with inspectors highlighting short waiting times to receive treatment.

Sarah Dronsfield, CQC’s head of hospital inspection, said: “People were seen quickly, treated as individuals and staff supported anybody with any anxieties or worries about their procedure.

“Throughout our inspection, we saw non-judgemental staff who always treated people with kindness. Relatives told us that the level of care was excellent, and staff would always go the extra mile.”

This commitment to patient experience included an occasion when two patients who were on their way to the hospital became stranded due to heavy snow. A SpaMedica manager contacted a hotel near the hospital to arrange overnight accommodation and food until the weather improved.

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

Christine Leadbeater, hospital manager at SpaMedica Wakefield said: “We’re absolutely thrilled with the results of the report. It really is a massive team effort and is testament to the work of every single person in our team.

“We’re genuinely passionate about providing the highest standard of care for our patients. That’s why SpaMedica has received over 6,000 five-star reviews on the NHS website. We’ll strive to continue to offer the best service to help restore patients’ sight and give them back their independence.”

Sarah Dronsfield added: “Staff said that they were immensely proud of the service they delivered to give people the best possible care and described their colleagues as supportive. All of this meant that the service was providing the best care for people, and the whole team at SpaMedica Wakefield deserves to be congratulated.”

SpaMedica Wakefield‘s inspection report is available to view on the CQC website: https://www.cqc.org.uk/location/1-2467216855

A summary of its key findings:
• SpaMedica Wakefield maintained positive patient outcomes and referral to treatment times despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
• Feedback from people who used the hospital was continually positive about the kind and supportive way staff treated patients.
• SpaMedica Wakefield provides free transport to patients who live within a set distance from the location.
• Patient stories are available as DVDs or on the website for patients to review prior to their procedure to help them feel more at ease.
• Staff made special efforts to care for patients and provide additional help and resources when patients were in need.
• Staff were proactively supported and encouraged to acquire new skills, use their existing skills, and share best practice.
Well done to the Wakefield team!
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