A DENTON-BASED medical scanning firm has received a blistering report demanding it must improve.
Mediscan Diagnostic Services, whose headquarters are at Tameside Business Park on Windmill Drive, has been rated inadequate by the Care Quality Commission after an unannounced inspection in November.
No clinics are provided at their site, instead its services are provided in GP surgeries, private clinic buildings, hospitals and a mobile endoscopy unit.
But the report highlighted a number of failings, including, ‘staff did not always understand how to protect patients from abuse, the service did not always control infection risk well and some policies were still not fully reflective of the service and it was unclear what monitoring processes had been implemented.’
It also found fault with, ‘the design, maintenance and use of equipment did not always keep people safe, records were not always stored securely and easily available to all staff providing care,’ and, ‘the service did not always manage patient safety incidents well. Staff did not always recognise and report incidents and near misses.’
Mediscan, which has delivered diagnostic and screening procedure services from its Denton location since June 2013, saw its services suspended following a damning CQC report in September.
The service stated: “During our inspection we visited the main location only because the service was currently suspended.
“We inspected to follow up concerns identified during the last inspection and to identify if the suspension could be lifted.
“The provider told us during this inspection the activity they would focus on when re-opening would be ultrasound scanning, physiotherapy and audiology initially once the suspension was lifted.
“The future plans for the service were unclear. We were told that there would be four locations operating initially in Bradford, Nottingham, London and Kent but the number of clinics re-opening would depend on what contracts could be secured.
“There were future plans to introduce tele-radiology and MRI services.”
However, more issues were identified and its inadequate rating remained.
In its findings, the CQC added: “Staff did not always understand how to protect patients from abuse.
“There was not a robust system and process in place for the appropriate and timely referral of safeguarding concerns.
“We were given two different safeguarding policies dated November 2021, which contained different information.
“There was a risk of harm to patients if safeguarding referrals were not made in a timely manner.
“We saw in the meeting minutes for October 2021 that staff watched a safeguarding video and had discussions about the reporting of safeguarding concerns to external agencies.
“However, this was only attended by three out of the six clinical staff who worked for the service and there was no representation from the safeguarding lead.
“The service did not always control infection risk well. While improvements had been made to infection prevention and control systems and processes, some policies were still not fully reflective of the service and it was unclear what monitoring processes had been implemented.
“We were told that the infection prevention and control lead had delivered additional training to staff in infection prevention and control principles, but there was no documented evidence of this.
“We were told that it was the health care assistant staff who would be responsible for completing the checks.
“There was no evidence of the monitoring processes which had been put in place for the completion of the checks and they were not included in the audit schedule.
“We did not see evidence of completed checklists as the service was suspended at the time of our inspection.
“The design, maintenance and use of equipment did not always keep people safe.”
Further faults were also found when inspectors made their visit late last year, with the report detailing areas in which Mediscan was lacking – particularly on coping if any equipment failed.
It continued: “There was no evidence of a clear plan for how equipment would be tested to ensure it was safe for use when the suspension ended.
“We observed a ‘stress test’ meeting which did not consider the process for ensuring that equipment was tested and safe to be brought back into use.
“There was a risk that the quality of images would be compromised affecting the diagnosis and treatment for patients.
“There were not robust contingency plans in place in case of equipment failure if machines in locations nationally failed.
“There was a risk of a delay to patients’ diagnostic procedures and subsequent treatment if a failure did occur in a clinic which was not local to the head office such as London.
“The service did not always manage patient safety incidents well. Staff did not always recognise and report incidents and near misses.
“We were not assured that the service was operating effective systems and processes to report, investigate and share learning from incidents.”
The CQC did identify some improvements, such as an improvement in training compliance records and some improvements to policies and monitoring processes.
However, in its rating, Mediscan was deemed inadequate in the categories ‘Are services safe?’ and ‘Are services well led?’
Inspectors found there was insufficient evidence to rate in the ‘Are services responsive to people’s needs?’ category and in ‘Are services effective?’ it was inspected but not rated.