Safe hands

How do you know you are in safe hands?

You can read our latest CQC report at http://www.cqc.org.uk/directory/1-115283412#icon_modal_grey

The Mapperley Park Clinic has been a regulated healthcare provider for 21 years now, under a number of different Healthcare Acts and Regulators, the latest being the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

We are always welcoming and have a good relationship with CQC inspectors, having nothing to hide and a reputation for good practice and safe delivery.  This is reflected in a long history of excellent inspection reports.

However, an inspection is always a nervous time – and in 21 years, we have only ever been marked down twice as ‘not meeting a standard’ and both times for the same thing – incomplete staff records for new employees.

In 2004 and at our latest inspection in February 2014, inspectors found that new employee records were incomplete – and on both occasions, the reasons why these records were incomplete was because we hadn’t yet received  the information back from the Criminal Record Bureau and referees.  We were required to file an action plan and which was entirely completed in March with all CRB checks complete and all references received.  CQC should have recorded this completion and returned our record to a clean, green tick but, at 22nd May, they had not done so.

We did also object to being assessed as not meeting the standard, on the grounds that they should not mark a provider down for something that they could not possibly have completed but the response was that, the CRB checks and references were missing at the time of inspection, inspectors had seen evidence that those important references had been sent for and the inspection report reflected this position.

We do agree that this is reflected in the report itself – but we are still not happy to have attracted a negative report in the first place and that nearly 8 weeks on from evidencing our compliance (all reference enquiries complete), we are still waiting for CQC to repair its information.

However, with a regulated provider, you do know that the important processes that take place are checked and monitored by an independent inspectorate – and that where they are found wanting, that provider will be required to show that any problems have been dealt with.

It is worth remembering that the majority of aesthetic providers are no longer required to be registered or inspected by CQC and so you have absolutely no knowledge of how that provider carries out the most important of practices so, while you know that on the day of inspection, Mapperley Park had not received back 2 CRB checks and one reference, you can know nothing about what an unregulated provider is doing, or whether there have been CRB and reference checks at all.

It is always safest to choose a CQC regulated provider – and worth reading any findings that have been made carefully.

Jo Martin