Northern Ireland Ulster Independent Clinic urged to act to ensure patient safety

Comment SIN-NL

Prestigious Ulster Independent Clinic finally called to account by the regulator.
Foundation SIN-NL challenges the regulator to examine the substandard treatment of Brian Magill.
The substandard treatment of the UIC made a significant contribution to his death, December 1999.
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Ulster Independent Clinic urged to act to ensure patient safety
The South Belfast medical centre hosts senior doctors offering private appointments.
Regulators engaged with the clinic in a bid to support improvement (Lynne Cameron/PA)

The Ulster Independent Clinic needs to act by next month to ensure patient safety, a regulator said.

The South Belfast medical centre hosts senior doctors offering private appointments and provides a range of scans and other services.

Dr Lourda Geoghegan, the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority’s medical director, said: “Some of our specific concerns related to the oversight and management of those permitted to practise at the hospital.

“We also were concerned about non-consultant grade doctors operating as surgical assistants in the hospital.

A range of actions are now required by the hospital and its management team, with compliance required by 23 February 2020
Dr Lourda Geoghegan, RQIA

“We advised management at the hospital of our concerns and sought assurances that these matters would be addressed without delay.”

Throughout last year regulators engaged with the clinic in a bid to support improvement.

Dr Geoghegan added: “However, we were not satisfied that our concerns were appropriately addressed.

“As a result, RQIA has issued a notice of failure to comply with regulations to this service.

“A range of actions are now required by the hospital and its management team, with compliance required by 23 February 2020.”

Significant gaps were discovered in the oversight and management of practising privileges given to medics during an unannounced inspection last year.

Dr Geoghegan added: “The safety and wellbeing of everyone receiving treatments at the Ulster Independent Clinic is of paramount importance to RQIA.

“The actions we require are central to ensuring the quality of care and safety of all patients at the hospital.

“It should be noted that these actions are not limited to work to update records or the introduction of more stringent administrative processes.”

The clinic was contacted for comment.

PA