The private hospital, Circle Reading, has been rated ‘good’ after an unannounced inspection.
In a report published on 24 October 2019, the Care Quality Commission said patients reported feeling well cared for and confident in the team treating them. Staff felt happy in their work, and there were enough nurses, doctors and other professionals with the right skills to deliver safe care.
More than 60 per cent of the hospital’s work is funded by the NHS, with the rest being individuals paying for treatment themselves or via health insurance.
The inspection checked the hospital’s surgical services, outpatients and imaging (X-rays and scans), and all three areas were rated ‘good’. During the visit the CQC spoke with 16 staff, six patients and one relative.
The inspection highlighted one main area for improvement: better record-keeping in outpatients. The CCQ said ‘staff did not keep detailed written records of patients’ care and treatment’ and some records ‘were very difficult to read’. This was raised with a manager who said they would look into this further.
Outstanding areas of practice included the service’s ability to directly access electronic information held by community services, including GPs, which meant that hospital staff could get up-to-date information about patients such as their current medicines. Circle had also invested in state-of-the-art ophthalmology equipment (for people with eye problems).
The inspection also found that Circle had a culture of learning from mistakes and patient complaints. There had been one unexpected patient death, in 2018, which had been reported and investigated.
Circle opened in Reading in 2012. It has five operating theatres and its services include orthopaedics, spinal, general surgery, gynaecology, ENT, ophthalmology, endoscopy, physiotherapy and X-rays, ultrasound and scans.