Action to be taken at Lister Surgicentre

Action is to be taken at the Lister Surgicentre in Stevenage

Action is to be taken at the Lister Surgicentre in Stevenage - Credit: Josh Massey

A HEALTH watchdog has said it will be taking enforcement action at the privately-run Lister Surgicentre after an inspection found patients’ health and welfare continues to be put at risk.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) released a report yesterday (Wednesday) which said the Surgicentre, based at Lister Hospital in Stevenage, does not have an effective health, safety and welfare system in place which is having a “major impact” on patients.

The inspection carried out in December also found that waiting times – more than a year for some patients – were still too long without any evidence that the problem would be resolved.

Satisfaction among patients who had received treatment or had surgery was high.

The CQC report said: “The provider has been non-compliant with regulation 10 [assessing and monitoring the quality of service provision] since February 2012, and despite plans and verbal assurances to CQC, continues to be unable to demonstrate compliance with this regulation.

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“This means that people cannot be assured that risks are effectively identified, assessed and managed to protect people’s welfare and as a result we have determined to take enforcement action.”

The report follows criticism from top medical examiner Dr Alan Fletcher earlier this month over the deaths of patients who had elective surgery.

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The CQC has not revealed what action it will now take but politicians have again called for Surgicente owners Clinicenta Ltd, part of Carillion, to have its licence suspended.

Instead they want to see the service run by the East and North Herts NHS Trust, which operates Lister Hospital.

Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland said: “This is the final blow for the owners Clinicenta Carillion, they are failing to manage the facility and they are failing local people. Their time is up and I am calling on the CQC to suspend Clinicenta Carillion’s licence to operate healthcare in the UK and return this facility to the local hospital to manage.”

Stevenage Borough Council leader Sharon Taylor said: “I think Stevenage people have had enough of this. We know the Surgicentre is failing and it’s time for the CQC and the Government to remove Carillion from running it. I don’t know why a building company would be expected to a run a health facility anyway.”

North East Herts MP Oliver Heald added: “It’s time the problems with the Surgicentre were resolved. I think senior management and the NHS need to get a grip on the situation.”

Clinicenta Ltd’s director Mike Hobbs said the CQC report recognised progress had been made since the last inspection in April 2012.

He added: “We have taken the CQC’s feedback very seriously and are continuing to work extremely hard to ensure that we make the required improvements that will give these services a clean bill of health from the CQC.”

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