A company which treats kidney stone patients at the Norfolk and Norwich has been rated "inadequate" by the health watchdog, prompting the hospital to carry out an immediate review of its contract.

Core Medical Solutions, based in Norwich, was found to have serious failings including staff with inadequate training, a lack of systems to ensure staff were competent and failing to maintain "secure records in relation to persons employed in the carrying on of the regulated activity".

"The service did not manage safety incidents well… managers did not ensure that actions from patient safety alerts were implemented and monitored," the report by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) also concluded, following the visit in June.

The company is run by Don Applegate and Sarah Maroney, with additional radiographers hired for shifts as needed.

Staff bring a treatment table and mobile lithotripsy, ultrasound and x-ray machines to hospital sites, to deliver non-invasive treatment to fragment patients’ kidney stones.

Inspectors rated the firm inadequate for both patient safety and leadership, which resulted in an overall rating of inadequate despite “good” results for care and responsiveness.

Eastern Daily Press: The Care Quality Commission rated the company InadequateThe Care Quality Commission rated the company Inadequate (Image: CQC)On its website the business explains: "Our highly skilled radiographers specialise in fragmenting kidney stones and providing complete patient relief.

"Operating under strict HCPC and CQC procedures we evaluate each patient carefully before locating the problem with Ultra sound and/or X-ray."

Ms Maroney said inspectors had given the company until October 10 to "get a list of things up to standard" which she said they had done.

Eastern Daily Press: Norfolk and Norwich Hospital. Picture: Brittany Woodman

She said the rating was "mainly about documentation not our practices", adding: "In terms of operating pratices we’re not at all worried, we were the only [lithotripsy] company which continued all through Covid. You don’t do that without excellent practices in place."

She said the firm was continuing to provide services at the NNUH and elsewhere.

Mark Rochester, NNUH consultant surgeon and urology service director, said: "In the light of this CQC report, we will immediately review our process, contract and governance.

"We regularly audit and review the supporting input, but will take additional steps to ensure the service does, and continues to, support NNUH services in a safe, appropriate and effective manner."