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Newcastle-under-Lyme eye hospital – rated ‘outstanding’ for NHS patient care – welcomes MP Aaron Bell

Bell met patients and staff during tour of SpaMedica site, where waiting times average four weeks, compared to national benchmark of 18

Newcastle-under-Lyme’s SpaMedica eye hospital, which provides NHS cataract surgery and YAG laser capsulotomy, was recently awarded an ‘outstanding’ rating by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) – and was visited by local MP Aaron Bell, who congratulated the team on their achievements.

Inspectors for industry regulator the CQC recently assessed services at the hospital on Lymedale Business Park, stating that staff ‘went the extra mile to provide support to patients, families and carers’. It highlighted that ‘patients reported positive results from their surgery, [feeling] they had experienced an immediate improvement…feedback showed 99.9% of patients [felt] that waiting times, hospital facilities and the outcome of their treatment was very good’.

Throughout 2022, the average waiting time for patients at the Newcastle-under-Lyme site was five weeks from referral to treatment, compared to a national benchmark of 18 weeks, and this has since reduced in 2023, to just four weeks.

The CQC report also praised the work of SpaMedica employees 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 personal, cultural, and religious needs and adapted their approach to support patients’.

After hearing of the hospital’s achievement, Aaron Bell MP visited the site for a tour of its facilities and met staff and patients. He said: “Congratulations to the team here at SpaMedica – I can certainly see why they were awarded an ‘outstanding’ rating by the CQC. It’s great to hear of the work they’re doing in helping to drive down waiting times for local NHS patients, while providing such fantastic, personalised care.”

Hospital manager at SpaMedica Newcastle-under-Lyme, Lisa Moors, said: “We’ve really enjoyed welcoming Aaron to the hospital and showing him around. We were delighted by the outcome of the CQC report, and so to be recognised for the service we provide to local residents by him and his team was great.

“The CQC inspection itself was met with lots of excitement by the staff here, who were all very keen to show off the wonderful work they do. The team are the most caring and compassionate group of individuals I have ever worked with, providing the highest standards of care for our patients and helping them get their quality of life back – and I’m really proud to be a part of it.”

To date, 31 SpaMedica hospitals have been inspected by the CQC – 12 (38.7%) have received an ‘Outstanding’ rating, with 19 (61.3%) achieving a ‘Good’ rating.

SpaMedica Newcastle-under-Lyme’s full inspection report is available to view on the CQC website. The report summary included the following points:

  • Staff treated patients with compassion and kindness, respected their privacy and dignity, took account of their individual needs, and helped them understand their conditions.
  • The service planned care to meet the needs of local people, took account of patients’ individual needs, and made it easy for people to give feedback. People could access the service when they needed it and did not have to wait too long for treatment.
  • Staff had training in key skills, understood how to protect patients from abuse, and managed safety well. Infection prevention and control was managed well, and the environment was maintained and cleaned to a high standard. Staff assessed risks to patients, acted on them and kept good care records.
  • Staff worked well together for the benefit of patients, advised them on how to lead healthier lives, supported them to make decisions about their care, and had access to good information.

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Aaron Bell and the team

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Note to Editors: SpaMedica is one of the leading providers of NHS eye patient services and, in 2018, became the largest NHS cataract surgery provider in the UK. Founded in 2008, it has 49 hospitals across the UK, with thousands of NHS patients receiving treatment at their hospitals each year. SpaMedica is part of the Veonet Group, the largest provider of ophthalmology care in Europe. The organisation believes in improving sight through excellent care which, ultimately, improves the quality of its patients’ lives. Putting the patient at the heart of everything they do, SpaMedica is focused on: ● Patient Safety ● Excellent Care ● Patient Satisfaction More than 12,000 patients have given SpaMedica hospitals a rating of 5-stars on NHS UK.

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