ABOVE: Stevenage Surgicentre is facing cross-party criticism
The Leader of Stevenage Borough Council is calling for an official review into the town's Surgicentre to be published...
The Care Quality Commission has been looking into the medical centre operated by Clinicenta, which's based at the Lister Hospital on Corey's Mill Lane.
Sharon Taylor's told JACK fm despite the medical staff being excellent, there have been numerous admin errors: "It is the administration of the Surgicentre which has been wrong from the start and it is still wrong.
We get lots of feedback from residents about cancelled appointments and treatments not taking place when patients thought they were going to.
The concern is about people's ongoing treatment - if you are having treatment for your eyes, for example, and don't get a follow up appointment, it can be incredibly dangerous."
AUDIO: Hear more from Stevenage Borough Council Leader Sharon Taylor...
Meantime, the MP for Stevenage Stephen McPartland has told JACK fm it one thing he agrees with Labour on: "The way in which the centre is manage is just not good enough.
I know the Care Quality Commission are now going to be doing some sort of surprise inspection and if they are not happy with the quality of what is happeneing, they will be looking at enforcement measures."
: Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland voices his concerns...
In a detailed response, Clinicenta's told JACK fm they acknowledge some administration issues have come to light.
But, say they are working hard to rectify these issues and are making significant headway. They also say they're disappointed by Stephen McPartland's comments, which are basd on "historical performance."
Dr Mark O'Flynn, Medical Director for Clinicenta told JACK fm: "Since Clinicenta started providing clinical services at Lister Surgicentre in September 2011 there have been nearly 60,000 patient attendances. The patients attending have reported a continuing increase in satisfaction levels and we have received very high levels of positive feedback about the care and service provided by our team.
We acknowledge that some administration issues have come to light following the opening of the Lister Surgicentre. We are working hard to rectify these issues and are making significant headway. We have also been assiduously contacting patients to ensure that the relevant follow up appointments have been scheduled. We have previously publically apologised to any patients that have been inconvenienced - an apology that I can offer again.
In the early months of operation people were having difficulty making contact with the Surgicentre by telephone leading to a lot of complaints some of which went via local MPs. We have now made changes and patients are now able to get in touch with the necessary departments in the Surgicentre. We will improve this further in the coming weeks.
Since April there has been a dramatic reduction in the number of complaints from 130 per month to 20. We are working hard to do even better. The reduced number of complaints show that improvements are happening and patients are not feeling the need to complain.
In the first months of operation we had a number of instances in which patient identifiable data was not stored and managed as securely as it should have been. In each instance this was corrected before any patient details were disclosed. As a result we have improving data security to a standard higher than is achieved in many NHS organisations.
This improvement has been confirmed through Lloyds Register Quality Assurance Auditors recommending Clinicenta for ISO 27001:2005 Certification, Information Security. This is the highest standard of accreditation available to ensure that the information held on patients is accurate, accessible only to those authorised to access it and appropriately available when it is needed.
We have worked hard to develop reports that improve our administration processes and the experience of patients. These reports are now operational and we are confident that we can track every one of our patients from referral to discharge and know when they need their next attendance. The benefits of this are already starting to be seen.
Dr O'Flynn continued: "It is disappointing that statements from Mr McPartland appear to be based on historical performance rather than taking the time to meet with us to get the facts regarding the current service. He has also sought to take a Surgicentre success and to distort this to suggest that the management are suggesting that everything is running OK. At no time have we made such claims.
We have made improvements to the service since February and this has been acknowledged by both NHS Hertfordshire and the Care Quality Commission. These improvements are continuing. Continuing to make inaccurate public statements is resulting in public and patient concern about accessing care. I'm sure that this not the outcome that Mr McPartland sought to achieve but it is the reality that is being reported consistently by our clinical staff.
We have met with Mr McPartland on several occasions, including with a number of his fellow Hertfordshire MPs. Many of the issues they raised have now been addressed.
It is pleasing that Mr McPartland recognises the quality of care provided by the clinical staff. What he fails to realise is that many of the support staff are also from the NHS. His logic in drawing conclusions about the management of the service is, at best, flawed.
In the meantime, Lister Surgicentre's excellent team of staff continues to provide exceptionally high levels of patient care in all areas, using some of the most hi-tech and advanced equipment available in the county. The Surgicentre remains an asset to the local community and we at Clinicenta are determined that this remains the case."
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