Diagnostic service ordered to make more improvements

Bosses at Mediscan Diagnostic Services Limited have been ordered to make further improvements to the quality of services.

Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) carried out an unannounced inspection of Mediscan Diagnostic Services Limited in November, to follow up on concerns from a previous inspection, and visited the provider’s head office in Manchester as well as the Mediscan Centre in Oldham which delivers diagnostic, screening and surgical procedures.

At previous inspections in June and August 2021, the watchdog suspended the registration of the provider due to the level of concerns found to keep people safe. 

This included all its satellite sites across England operating under the provider’s registration. This suspension expired on 25 November; however, conditions remain on the provider’s registration, meaning it cannot perform invasive procedures such as endoscopy and transvaginal scans.

Inadequate overall

Following the latest inspection, both services have been rated inadequate overall, as well as being inadequate for safe and well-led. Two warning notices were issued due to risks identified with safe care and treatment and good governance.

Mediscan Diagnostic Services Limited deliver a range of services including ultrasound scanning, endoscopy procedures including sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy and gastroscopy, audiology and physiotherapy.

Karen Knapton

Karen Knapton, CQC’s head of hospital inspection, said: ‘During our latest inspection of Mediscan Diagnostic Services Limited, while we saw some improvements, we were still not assured that all the necessary improvements had been made since we last inspected.

‘At our previous inspection, we had concerns regarding staff not having the correct level of safeguarding training, and some staff not knowing what a safeguarding incident might be or how to identify one which placed people at significant risk. Training compliance had improved but the processes to manage and refer safeguarding concerns was still not clear for staff.

‘While some improvements had been made regarding the management of risks, issues and staff performance, there was no process in place to assess and monitor these improvements so learning couldn’t be shared and embedded.

Poorly managed

‘At this inspection, it was disappointing to find that safety incidents continued to be poorly managed. Steps had been taken to strengthen the leadership structure and the service was receiving support from external agencies. The service must now plan for an effective long-term leadership team so the necessary improvements can be embedded.

‘We will continue to monitor this service and if insufficient improvement is made, we will use our enforcement powers further to ensure people receive appropriate and safe care.’

Inspectors found:

Staff didn’t always understand how to protect patients from abuse. The service needed a robust system in place to refer any safeguarding concerns in a timely manner;

The service did not always control infection risk well and some policies were still not fully reflective of the service. There was limited assurance that there were robust systems and processes in place for the appropriate and timely referral, triage and escalation of patient care;

The service did not always manage patient safety incidents well and staff didn’t always recognise when to report incidents and near misses;

There remained concerns about the competency and recruitment checks for agency staff.

However, inspectors also found:

Improvements had been made to the process to evidence lessons learnt and share them with all staff;

The service recognised that culture needed improving but this had not progressed since the last inspection. However, leaders said they felt valued and supported in their roles;

Some improvements had been made to policies and monitoring processes;

Improvements had been made to the appraisal process for staff and there were plans to hold supervision meetings to provide support and development;

Consent documentation for intimate ultrasound examinations had been updated to meet with national guidance.

  • See ‘Inspectors rate private hospital as “inadequate”’