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Skelmersdale eye hospital awarded ‘outstanding’ by health watchdog for ‘excellent’ cataract care

SpaMedica team praised for ‘consistently exceeding patient expectations and outcomes’

Patients who attend Skelmersdale’s SpaMedica hospital receive outstanding care, confirms a report by industry regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC), which highlights short waiting times for treatment, and the compassion and kindness of staff.

The CQC awarded the Skelmersdale hospital the highest possible overall rating, praising how the service respects the individual needs of each patient, tailors services accordingly, and improves experiences based on feedback.

The Skelmersdale site, located at Whelmar House, Southway, opened in 2018 and is one of 38 hospitals across England operated by SpaMedica, the UK-leading provider of NHS cataract surgery.

It provides eye health services to people from across West Lancashire, with the company’s head office based in Bolton.

The recognition for Skelmersdale follows SpaMedica’s Wakefield hospital also being awarded the rare ‘outstanding’ rating earlier this year.

Kerry Moseley, hospital manager at SpaMedica Skelmersdale, said: “Seeing the results of the CQC report is incredibly rewarding and it’s a great testament to the work of every single person in our team.

“We take pride in delivering the highest quality levels of service and we work hard to care for all our cataract and AMD patients throughout their treatment journeys. We constantly ask our patients what we can do better and strive for continuous improvement, to consistently deliver individual care to everyone across the region.

“I’m absolutely delighted to be continuing to deliver our excellent care as an ‘outstanding’ hospital and support more patients in achieving better vision.”

This pride in providing the very best in patient care is highlighted time and again in the CQC’s report, with inspectors noting several occasions where staff members have gone beyond the call of duty. This includes holding hands with nervous patients to reassure them as they go into theatre, and supplying taxis for patients who are unable to benefit from the hospital’s free transport service.

One staff member, a keen artist, has even produced artwork to ‘brighten up the corridors in the hospital and give the patients something extra special to look at whilst waiting’.

The report also noted improvements that had been made directly based on patient feedback, such as the use of bright orange tape around sinks and other fixtures, after a patient explained the difficulties they experienced due to a white-on-white contrast in the hospital’s bathrooms.

Following the inspection, SpaMedica Skelmersdale was rated ‘outstanding’ overall, and for being effective and responsive to people’s needs.

Karen Knapton, CQC’s head of hospital inspection added: “We were very impressed by the quality and safety of care provided to people at SpaMedica Skelmersdale. The service was well staffed by professionals who took all necessary steps to support people’s needs and ensure their safety.

“Behind this was good management from leaders who used reliable systems to understand the service and plan its future.

“It was great to hear the service received constant positive patient feedback, which confirmed that people were satisfied with the care and treatment they received, and all staff should be proud of this recognition.”

A summary of its key findings:

  • Feedback from patients is continually positive about the way staff treat people.
  • A risk assessment for cataract surgery was designed following a clinical study, with patients’ medication post-surgery specifically tailored to take account of a range of factors including ethnicity.
  • SpaMedica Skelmersdale offers a one-off steroid injection rather than eye drops for patients who may struggle to use them due to factors such as homelessness, or those who pose a significant infection risk administering their own drops.
  • The hospital provides a 24-hour, seven day on call service and manages any post-operative complications in house where possible, rather than sending patients to an NHS hospital.
  • SpaMedica supports relevant eyesight charities and invites them into the hospital to give information, training, advice and support to patients.
  • The hospital runs accreditation evenings for local opticians to enable them to support patients in the community after surgery.

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The SpaMedica Eye Hospital in Skelmersdale

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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 38 hospitals across England, with thousands of NHS patients receiving treatment at their hospitals each year. The organisation believes in improving sight through excellent care which 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 7,000 patients have given SpaMedica hospitals a rating of 5-stars on NHS UK.

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