A report from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) dated 3 July 2019 has stated that Spire Leeds Hospital ‘requires improvement’ following their inspection on 11 December 2018.

Spire Leeds is a private hospital and considered to be one of Yorkshire’s largest offering treatment of over 30 medical specialities. The hospital has facilities which include four operating theatres, an endoscopy suite, an angiography suite, chemotherapy unit and physiotherapy services. The CQC inspected the hospital’s services on 11th December 2018 and focused on specific services which were highlighted as concerns from staff and members of the public.

The areas of concern in surgery and children and young people’s services were reported as:

  • “Key senior leaders in the service did not have the right skills, abilities, or integrity to run a service providing high-quality sustainable care. Opportunities to prevent or minimise harm were missed.”
  • “Safety was not always a high priority, and the application of safety systems and processes required improvement…”
  • “…The hospital could not reliably determine how many serious incidents had occurred, and had not always notified CQC of serious incidents, or had not done so in a timely manner…”
  • “…There was little evidence senior leaders had worked to systematically improve service quality and safeguard good standards of care. Risk registers were not adequately managed and did not reflect key risks facing the service.”
  • “Senior leaders had not supported or promoted a culture of appropriately identifying, reporting, categorising, and learning from incidents. When concerns were rais
    ed, or things went wrong, the approach to reviewing and investigating causes was often insufficient or too slow. There was little evidence of learning from events or action taken to improve safety in key committee and group meeting minutes we reviewed.”
  • “Senior leaders had failed to meet their duty of candour obligations consistently well. The culture was not one of fairness, openness, transparency, honesty, challenge and candour. Senior leaders were reactive and defensive. When something went wrong, people were not always told in an open and honest way or in a timely manner.”
  • “The culture, policies and procedures had not provided adequate support for staff to raise concerns and have these adequately addressed at hospital level. From November 2017 to October 2018, CQC received five whistleblowing enquiries; and an internal whistleblowing investigation by Spire Healthcare (corporate) had been undertaken with respect to children’s and young pe
    ople’s services.”
  • “Staff did not always follow best practice when prescribing, giving, recording and storing medicines.”
  • “There was limited evidence of discussions about learning from concerns and complaints in key committee and group meeting minutes we reviewed.”

Following this inspection, the CQC told the Spire Leeds that it must take some actions to comply with the regulations and that it should make other improvements, even though a regulation had not been breached, to help the service improve. They also issued the provider with three requirement notices.

Duty of Candour

Regulation 20 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014 sets out specific requirements that providers must follow when things go wrong with care and treatment, including informing people about the incident, providing reasonable support, providing truthful information and an apology when things go wrong.

Spire Leeds have been issued with a notice in relation to this regulation that they “…must ensure it always fulfils its Duty of candour (DoC) obligations, and the specific requirements of the regulation; which include acting in an open and transparent way, informing people about care and treatment incidents in a timely manner, and providing truthful information.”

When Was Spire Leeds Last Inspected?

The last CQC inspection for Spire Leeds was in January 2017. At that time, the report found that medical care services (including older people’s care) were ‘outstanding’ overall and children and young people’s services, surgery, critical care and outpatients and diagnostic imaging services were ‘good’ overall. This latest report now rates the safety and effectiveness of services as “requires improvement” and rates how well-led the services are as “inadequate”. Surgery and services for children and young people were also rated as “requires improvement”.

What Can I Do?

Negligent care by medical professionals in whom you placed your trust can have life changing consequences, for you and your family.

If you or someone you care for has suffered an injury as a result from failings in medical care, Ison Harrison’s clinical negligence team can help. We have decades of experience and a strong reputation in the field of clinical negligence, representing and supporting injured patients.

Our solicitors will carry out an initial assessment free of charge, discussing your concerns, advising you of the options available and answering any questions you may have.

Please email our team at clinneg@isonharrison.co.uk or call 0113 284 5000 to speak to a legal expert in confidence about your concerns.

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