"Outstandingly compassionate care” offered at Southampton treatment centre

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The team at one of the first independent sector NHS treatment centres to be inspected under the new Care Quality Commission regime has welcomed a positive report published this week.

Care for patients has attained “outstanding” levels at Southampton NHS Treatment Centre, according to CQC inspectors who also rated the centre “good” in every other examined category.

Care UK, which operates Southampton NHS Treatment Centre on behalf of the local commissioners, believes that only a handful of similar treatment centres inspected so far, have received a good rating with none achieving the outstanding category.

The report from inspectors at the CQC covers the surgery and outpatients departments of the Care UK-run NHS centre. The inspectors talked to inpatients, those who were being treated as day cases and those visiting the regular outpatient clinics, as well as team members at all levels.They found that “outstandingly kind and compassionate” care was given to patients by team members at all levels within the surgical ward and department. The CQC team reported seeing patients being treated with respect and dignity, and the report says: “both patients and relatives commented positively about the care provided.”

During the visits, inspectors noted that all the patients they had conversations with told them team members were caring and kind, with the report capturing one patient saying: “They don’t talk down to you,” and “All staff were kind,” while another said they never had to ask for any support or care as staff appeared to instinctively know their requirements and how to meet them, pre-empting their needs.

The inspectors also examined the effectiveness of the centre, its leadership, patient safety and its responsiveness to patients’ needs and wishes.

The inspectors found the flexible and patient-focused approach of the centre meant that clinics were held on Saturdays as well as during the week. They commented that patients were able to influence the choice of date for their surgery during outpatient consultations and that patients were given staggered attendance times on their day of surgery to ensure waiting times before a procedure were minimised. They also noted the benefits of the centre’s frequent use of one-stop clinics to reduce the number of visits patients had to make.

Hospital director Paula Friend said: “I'm delighted the inspectors singled out for praise the high levels of care patients receive. Every member of the team knows how important it is to genuinely care for patients, as well as meeting the rigorous clinical and technical demands of their jobs.

“We were thrilled when the CCG recently renewed our contract for at least another five years. I believe the inspectors’ findings reinforce the faith in the service we deliver to NHS patients in the south.”

The treatment centre provides NHS patients with inpatient and day case elective surgery with associated outpatient and diagnostic clinics across nine specialties  orthopaedics, oral surgery, gynaecology, general surgery, ear, nose and throat, urology, eye surgery, endoscopy and pain management.

As well as a 19-bed inpatient ward, it has a 24-bed day patient ward and five theatres that operate Monday to Saturday.  

Southampton NHS Treatment Centre first opened in 2008. Last May, the local CCGs selected Care UK as their partner to continue running the treatment centre for another five years.    

Over the past seven years the treatment centre team has seen more than 100,000 NHS patients, performed approximately 90,000 elective procedures and never had a case of hospital acquired MRSA.  

For more details about the new contract visit careukgroup.com/news/care-uk-selected-to-run-southampton-nhs-treatment-centre

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