A HEREFORD sexual health clinic has been told it requires improvement by the Care Quality Commission.

Solutions4Health in Hereford's St Owens Street, which is commissioned by Herefordshire Council, was visited by inspectors for an announced inspection in April this year, and was rated in five areas.

Inspectors rated the clinic as 'good' in the effective, caring, and responsive categories, but said improvement was required in the sale and well-led categories, giving it an overall rating of 'requires improvement'.

The consultant-lead sexual health service provides screening and diagnostic services for sexual health related conditions, and a variety of contraception including long acting preventative contraception.

The report said the service did have effective systems to safeguard people from abuse, staff training was up-to-date, staff knew how to protect patients from abuse and report concerns, and appropriate DBS checks were carried out on staff.


Kind, respectful, and compassionate staff were found to be appropriately qualified, encouraged to develop skills, supported privacy and dignity, and were consistent and proactive in empowering patients.

Care records were well written, information was shared with other agencies to enable safe care and treatment, timely referrals were made, and incidents and complaints were recorded and acted on.

And the service was also found to be mostly organised and delivered services to meet needs, while waiting times were minimal.

But, inspectors said, leaders had established policies, procedures and activities to ensure safe running of the service, but these were not effective or operating as intended.

An emergency medicine and oxygen masks were found to be out of date, while legionella checks were not being completed as outlined in the provider's policy, and vaccination fridge temperatures were out of the recommended range.

There were areas where lines of responsibility, roles, and systems of accountability and management were not clear, inspectors said, with some staff not receiving formal clinical supervision, although staff were clear on their roles and accountabilities on a local level, the report said.


And there were no detailed fire plans in place to ensure the safe evacuation of the building in the case of an emergency, and fire evacuation drills were not being carried out, inspectors said.

However, the report said, Solutions4Health said patients with limited mobility were seen in ground-floor rooms, and information was later supplied to the CQC showing morning checks included determining which patients needed ground-floor clinic room access. Fire alarm checks were also being carried out.

And patients and staff were at risk of harm as systems were not in place or practised to ensure risk was effectively mitigated.

The issues found put Solutions4Health in breach of regulations and they must establish effective systems and processes to ensure good governance in accordance with the fundamental standards of care, inspectors said.

Bosses should also explore systems to ensure all environmental risks were being reviewed and mitigated.

A Herefordshire Council spokesperson said: “We are working closely with Solutions4Health to ensure the issues raised by the Care Quality Commission are resolved quickly. I know some improvements have already been made. Our focus is to ensure safe and supportive sexual health services for the people of Herefordshire.”