The Care Quality Commission has deemed a privately owned hospital to be delivering an inadequate level of care.
Fawkham Manor Hospital in Kent, which is run by BMI Healthcare, was considered to be inadequate following an inspection from the CQC’s safety department.
Particularly worrying was the fact that the Care Quality Commission discovered that patients at the institution were at high risk of harm and abuse.
The CQC report said surgery patients were “at high risk of avoidable harm, or abuse, as the hospital did not consistently follow safety systems, processes and standard operating procedures”.
Difficulties with the leadership and governance at the facility were also uncovered.
However, the 30-bed hospital received a good rating for caring, while requiring improvement for effective and responsive care.
Routine inspections took place in August and November of last year, with the regulator having been forced to bring forward the date of this procedure.
This was in reaction to concerns about the standards of governance at the hospital, although the inspectors did note in their final report that some improvements have been tangible in November.
Fawkham Manor provides elective surgery and outpatient care, with 1,719 NHS elective admissions and 2,974 NHS first outpatient appointments having been conducted by the hospital last year.
Cataract surgery, knee surgery and diagnostic endoscopy are all commonly carried out at the institution.
The Care Quality Commission found that facilities at the hospital where unsafe, with the responsiveness of services for children and young people also considered to be inadequate.
Responding to the report, a spokesman for Fawkham Manor Hospital indicated that efforts have been made to address the weaknesses uncovered by the Care Quality Commission.
“Since the initial inspection six months ago, we have been working to address the areas for improvement identified. This included closing the hospital for an extended period over Christmas while we invested £250,000 in theatre enhancements, strengthening the hospital management team and ensuring the correct safety systems and processes were fully implemented.”
The spokesman went on to state that the management of the facility is at least encouraged by comments of the commission regarding the quality of staffing at the hospital.
“Patient safety is our absolute priority, and we will not accept practices that fall short of the expectations that we – and our patients – have of the hospital. Whilst we are disappointed with the CQC’s findings, we are pleased that the CQC also saw evidence of the commitment of our staff and the compassionate care they deliver to patients.”
BMI Healthcare has 59 hospitals and healthcare facilities across the UK, and generated revenue of £834 million in 2012.