Private Leeds hospital ordered to improve after damning inspection report

Spire Leeds Hospital, Jackson Avenue, Roundhay, Leeds...4th July 2019.Picture by Simon Hulme
Spire Leeds Hospital, Jackson Avenue, Roundhay, Leeds...4th July 2019.Picture by Simon Hulme
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Health inspectors have ordered urgent improvements at the Spire Hospital in Leeds.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has said that “key senior leaders in the service did not have the right skills, abilities, or integrity to run a service providing high-quality sustainable care” at the privately-run hospital, in a newly-published report.

Spire Leeds Hospital, Jackson Avenue, Roundhay, Leeds...4th July 2019.Picture by Simon Hulme

Spire Leeds Hospital, Jackson Avenue, Roundhay, Leeds...4th July 2019.Picture by Simon Hulme

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The hospital routinely takes in NHS patients who have been referred.

They also uncovered that the hospital received five whistleblowing inquiries in the space of just 12 months.

The report found that in the year up to October 2018 there was 2,446 inpatient admissions, and 7,327 day-case admissions, and 8,905 visits to theatre (8,282 adults and 623 children and young people), at the Roundhay-based private hospital.

Spire Leeds Hospital, Jackson Avenue, Roundhay, Leeds...4th July 2019.Picture by Simon Hulme

Spire Leeds Hospital, Jackson Avenue, Roundhay, Leeds...4th July 2019.Picture by Simon Hulme

Of these, 65 per cent of patients were self-funded or insured, and 35 per cent of patients were NHS-funded.

Senior leaders at the hospital were criticised for a catalogue of failures.

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On the plus side, it was found that staff cared for patients with compassion, treated them well and with kindness.

Also found to be good was that people could access services when they needed them.

Arrangements to admit and discharge patients were typically in line with good practice.

Overall, the hospital treated concerns and complaints seriously, and investigated them.

But the CQC report found that the rating of the hospital, at Jackson Avenue, in Roundhay, had changed from good to ‘Requires Improvement’ overall, in two years.

A Spire spokesman said: “We are disappointed with the Leeds rating given quality of care and patient safety is central to our strategy but we will redouble efforts to learn from the CQC findings and ensure Leeds joins the 76 per cent of Good and Outstanding rated services in our group, including our Manchester hospital, recently rated Outstanding.”

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The following areas of concern were highlighted after two departments - surgery and children and young people’s services - were inspected:

• Key senior leaders in the service did not have the right skills, abilities, or integrity to run a service providing high-quality sustainable care. Opportunities to prevent or minimise harm were missed.

• Safety was not always a high priority.

• The application of governance arrangements and systems was not adequate.

• Senior leaders had not supported or promoted a culture of appropriately identifying, reporting, categorising, and learning from incidents.

• Senior leaders had failed to meet their duty of candour obligations consistently well.

• The culture, policies and procedures had not provided adequate support for staff to raise concerns and have these adequately addressed.

• From November 2017 to October 2018, CQC received five whistleblowing enquiries; and an internal whistleblowing investigation by Spire Healthcare (corporate) had been undertaken

with respect to children’s and young people’s services.

• The service level agreement (SLA) for the transfer of critically ill children had expired in February 2018 and had not been renewed as of January 2019.

• Staff did not always follow best practice when prescribing, giving, recording and storing medicines.

A spokesman for NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We acknowledge the results from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) report following its inspection of Spire Leeds Hospital. We are pleased to note the areas where the hospital is performing well but do recognise that Spire Leeds Hospital has received a rating of requires improvement overall.’
“We want to reassure patients that there is no risk to Leeds patients who are being seen at the hospital and services will continue as usual. We will work with Spire Leeds Hospital on areas which have been identified as requiring improvement so that we can ensure that NHS patients being seen by them receive high-quality care.”

Hannah Davies, chief executive of Healthwatch Leeds, said: “If anyone who was been referred to Spire through the NHS, your Healthwatch Leeds would like to know about your experience.”

Factfile: Spire Hospital


Spire Hospital is a private hospital based in Jackson Avenue, Roundhay.
The hospital, which has a daily capacity for 88 patients, includes one ward for day cases with 18 beds and one for overnight inpatient stays with 38 beds; a critical care unit (level 2 care) with eight beds; a children’s ward with eight beds; an oncology day unit with six day case chairs; an ambulatory care unit with 10 outpatient and day case beds; and a large outpatients’ area, including physiotherapy.
The hospital also provides a range of diagnostic and imaging radiology services including digital radiography, digital mammography and ultrasound.