The entrance to Baxter Education Centre North West

A Salford medical centre has been slammed by health watchdogs over a string of failings and put into special measures. 

This month, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), published a report on Baxter Education Centre North West, rating it as “inadequate” due to lack of safety in multiple areas.

The CQC, which inspects health services across the UK, descended on the centre back in December 2021 in an unannounced visit.

Inspectors raised a number of concerns, which were highlighted in a report released on Friday (February 18).

“Safety was not given sufficient priority, making people who used the service at risk of potential harm,” the report said.

“This was because staff were not provided with the appropriate level of safeguarding training and did not always understand how to protect patients from abuse.

“The service did not always control infection risk well. Staff did not always manage medicines well.

“Staff did not always assess and minimise risks to patients.”

The Baxter Education Centre, opened in 2018. It offers a built space where patients who need renal dialysis or intravenous nutrition are given instructions by specialists and staff on how to carry out health procedures and treat themselves in their own house.

The centre, which is in special measures, now has to improve every area inspection as quickly as possible.

Inspectors said: “If insufficient improvements have been made such that there remains a rating of inadequate overall or for any key question or core service, we will take action in line with our enforcement procedures to begin the process of preventing the provider from operating the service.

“This will lead to cancelling their registration or to varying the terms of their registration within six months if they do not improve. ”

The report, which was the centre’s first, was critical of most aspects of dialysis services, stating: “Dialysis fluid was not stored in a temperature-controlled room.

“The centre used four types of dialysis fluid; one should not be stored above 25c for long periods.

“When we discussed ambient temperatures with the registered manager, they told us that none of the fluids had a maximum storage temperature and that no action was required when the room temperature was high.

“This meant they did not understand the potential implications of fluid being stored outside of the manufacturers recommendations which put patients at risk of using fluid which was no longer fit for use.” CQC stated.

This directly impacted on patient who was not clearly guided on their medicine, its temperature and requirements.

The CQC added: “During our inspection, we saw that one carer had brought a medication with them which required refrigeration.

“The staff only became aware of this as the patient was being discharged from the centre.”

Baxter Education Centre provides education for caring for adults over, and under, the age of 65, and it aims to host 267 patients yearly.

The CQC raised concerns that managers and other supervisors had a lack of leadership and skill to run the service, they ‘could not provide evidence’ for of correct recruitment practices and lacked knowledge on the purpose of the clinic.

Despite being rated inadequate, the service was rated ‘good’ in the caring category.

Inspectors noted how patients were treated with kindness and dignity.

The report said: “Staff were discreet and responsive when caring for patients. Staff took time to interact with patients and those close to them in a respectful and considerate way.

“Patients said staff treated them well and with kindness. Feedback that we received from patients on the day of inspection was positive.”

Baxter Education Centre has promised that improvements were already being made and that the CQC’s verdict was taken seriously.

Elizabeth Featherstone, communications manager for Baxter said: “Patient safety is Baxter’s top priority. Baxter Education Centres (BEC) are educational facilities that provide training for self-caring, independent NHS patients to successfully manage their home dialysis or parenteral nutrition.

“Even under the recent CQC rating for BEC Northwest, patients can safely complete training at our facility. In addition to providing a comprehensive response to the organisation related to its findings, we’ve immediately begun to implement changes and have engaged an external consultant to help us develop a thorough action plan to meet all of the CQC’s requirements.”

Top image: Entrance to Baxter Educational Centre North West. Credit: Google Maps  

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