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Private hospital gets top CQC rating but is warned over PICU nurse levels

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The Harley Street Clinic in London has been rated “outstanding” overall by the Care Quality Commission, following an inspection last year that praised the commitment of staff.

The 103-bed private hospital in Marylebone was given the CQC’s top rating for being caring and well-led and was rated “good” for being safe, effective and responsive.

“Staff were highly motivated and inspired to offer care that was kind and promoted dignity”

Mike Richards

However, the hospital was told it must take action to ensure the skill mix of staff in the paediatric intensive care unit reflected current recommendations.

At the time of the inspection, the PICU skill mix did not meet Royal College of Nursing guidelines, said the CQC. There were not always two trained paediatric nurses per shift, warned the regulator.

CQC inspectors carried out a comprehensive inspection of the hospital, looking at five core services – medical care, surgery, critical care, services for children and young people and outpatients and diagnostic imaging.

They concluded that the clinic, which is owned by HCA Hospitals, promoted an “open and approachable culture” that was “always driven to provide high quality patient care”.

They also praised the commitment and motivation of the workforce at the hospital, with staff prepared “to go the extra mile” for patients, including working extra shifts.

Sir Mike Richards

Sir Mike Richards

Sir Mike Richards

In addition, CQC inspectors said staff were knowledgeable about the hospital’s safeguarding policy and clear about their responsibilities to report concerns.

Their report, published today, highlighted that patients’ pain was monitored and the effectiveness of pain management evaluated, the inspectors found, and patients had access to different methods of pain relief.

The regulator also noted there were facilities in place and readily available for patients from different cultural backgrounds and for whom their first language was not English.

Professor Sir Mike Richards, the CQC’s chief inspector of hospitals, said: “We saw some outstanding areas of care at the Harley Street Clinic.

“The management actively encouraged staff to learn and improve,” he said. “Staff satisfaction surveys showed that staff felt committed to give their best.

“We found an excellent multidisciplinary team working, with close collaboration between all staff,” he added. Sir Mike also described the standard of care being provided as “outstanding”.

“Staff were highly motivated and inspired to offer care that was kind and promoted people’s dignity and were willing to go the extra mile to meet individuals’ needs,” he said.

“We saw incidences of staff changing their shifts or working additional shifts in order to offer anxious patients continuity of care,” he noted.

“We are adding to the skills mix of our already highly trained nurses”

Aida Yousefi

Aida Yousefi, chief executive of the Harley Street Clinic, said: “I am immensely proud of the ‘outstanding’ rating awarded by the CQC for the compassionate, patient centred care we deliver.”

She said that sharing the inspection results with her staff, who the CQC had “noted for going above and beyond to support patients”, was an “absolute privilege”.

“I thank them all for their continued dedication to making the Harley Street Clinic the outstanding hospital it is,” she said.

Ms Yousefi added that the hospital was taking action to address the problems around skill mix in paediatric intensive care that were identified by the CQC.

“We welcome opportunities for further improvement and, in line with regulation changes in paediatric intensive care from the Royal College of Nursing, we are adding to the skills mix of our already highly trained nurses,” she said.

“We are ensuring all new recruits in this area are not only highly trained paediatric intensive care specialists but also trained paediatric nurses and, for our already experienced paediatric intensive care nurses, we are offering new advanced training,” she stated.

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