The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has told Mediscan Diagnostic Services Limited to stop some of its procedures and make urgent improvements to the quality of its diagnostic and screening core service.
The orders apply to its Mediscan Centre in Oldham and main branch in Manchester after inspectors rated both locations inadequate overall.
The CQC urgent conditions imposed upon the provider include that it must not carry out any invasive diagnostic procedures involving the insertion of instruments into the body including but not limited to all types of endoscopy, gastroscopy, colonoscopy and all invasive ultrasound scans.
Urgent improvements in infection prevention and control, equipment maintenance, staff competencies, leadership and governance and management systems are also required.
The move follows an unannounced CQC focused inspection of some of the provider’s seven locations after receiving information of concern about the safety and quality of services.
Mediscan Diagnostic Services Limited delivers a range of services including ultrasound scanning, endoscopy procedures including sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy and gastroscopy, audiology and physiotherapy.
- The service did not always control infection risk well.
- The design, maintenance and use of facilities, premises and equipment did not always keep people safe and there was limited evidence that staff had received appropriate training in the use of equipment.
- There was not a robust process in place for the oversight of staff resuscitation training and the policies in place for staff to follow in respect of deteriorating patients were not fully reflective of the service provided.
- The service did not have robust systems and processes in place to safely prescribe, administer, record and store medicines in the diagnostic and screening core service.
- The service did not always make sure that staff were competent for their roles, there was limited evidence of staff competencies and required training compliance was low.
- Patients were not always supported to make informed decisions about their care and treatment and there was a lack of clarity about the consent process in the diagnostic and screening core service.
- Leaders did not operate effective governance processes, throughout the service, and leaders did not always use systems to manage performance effectively.
- However, the CQC added that the inspectors also found that staff could describe how to identify and quickly act upon patients at risk of deterioration or those with unexpected findings, that the service provided care and treatment based on evidence-based practice and that staff had regular opportunities to meet, discuss and learn.
Serious patient safety concerns
CQC chief inspector of hospitals Ted Baker said the regulator found a number of serious concerns relating to patient safety and imposed urgent conditions to ensure the provider focussed its attention on the areas of improvement.
“Inspectors saw staff providing ultrasound scans in the clinics wearing aprons and masks. However, they did not see that staff changed personal protective equipment between patients which is an infection risk,” he said.
“We found unsafe equipment, equipment which had exceeded its re-test date and electrical equipment which had not been safety tested which could result in patient harm.
“Following our inspection, we gave Mediscan feedback of our findings, and made clear those concerns which required an urgent response. Mediscan Diagnostic Services Limited knows what it must do to ensure it improves its services.
“In the meantime, we will work with local stakeholders and continue to monitor the service closely. We can confirm our inspectors returned to Mediscan Diagnostic Services Limited in June and will publish our findings in due course along with any further action we may have considered.”
Health & Protection contacted Mediscan Diagnostic Services Limited for a response but it did not respond by deadline.