St Catherine’s Hospice is praised by the Care Quality Commission
St Catherine’s Hospice has received high praise from the health watchdog for offering compassionate, professional and personalised care to people with life-shortening illnesses.
The hospice has just been re-awarded a ‘good’ grade by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) for being safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led.
Within the CQC report, St Catherine’s is described as having a ‘caring, professional and calm atmosphere’, with ‘highly motivated’ staff who ‘love their work’.
The management team are ‘experienced, committed and caring, forward-thinking and looking to continuously improve the service’, and nursing staff are ‘warm, compassionate, friendly, patient and discreet when providing care’.
The inspectors said: “We saw evidence that end-of-life care was provided with sensitivity, dignity, respect and compassion. We observed this to be the case and were also told by people both in the hospice, and who received care at home, that staff showed them kindness and understanding. Bereavement support was in place for families and friends and regular remembrance services were held at the hospice.
“It was evident when speaking with staff that they knew the people they were caring for well. Staff were able to describe people’s personal needs, histories and preferences as well as their medical needs.
“All the staff we spoke with were passionate about their role, the people they cared for and told us they worked in a very caring environment which also incorporated how they were treated by peers, senior members of staff and management.”
Training for staff and the charity’s 700 volunteers was also commended, and a ‘robust recruitment system’, effective systems for medicines management, policies and procedures for medication, and an infection control team means that the hospice is a safe and secure environment.
The hospice’s unique advanced care planning document – known as the one-page profile – was also given credit. It gives patients the opportunity to outline their care preferences and personal wishes, and inspectors also recognised that ‘people were assisted to remain as independent as possible whilst receiving care and support from the service’.
One relative of a patient told the inspectors “it’s like you’re at home”, while another said of staff: “They’re very comforting, so kind and caring. They’re like angels, they’ve been brilliant with us.”
Inspectors added: “The service received a large number of compliments – 129 had been received in the 12-month period prior to our inspection.
“We looked at a number of letters and ‘thank you’ cards and it was evident that the hospice provided a service that was highly regarded and appreciated by people and their immediate and wider families.
“Some of the messages were extremely personal and heartfelt and mentioned high levels of nursing care, support, love and kindness. Individual staff were also named, proving that the service offered was highly personalised and professional.”
When interviewed, one staff member commented that “even the directors have an open door policy, you cannot question the support that is in place for the entire workforce,” while another said: “Everyone knows why we are here and that the patients and families are the priority. There are no dull moments and I look forward to coming to work.”
The report also recognised the high standing and involvement that St Catherine’s has within the care industry across Lancashire and the North West.
It read: “There were many examples seen of directors supporting other groups and meetings throughout the North West. A memorandum was in place with the University of Central Lancashire formalising the hospice’s interaction with the area’s primary academic institution. We saw that leading specialist visitors attended the hospice to give lectures on areas such as cancer research and dementia.”
Chief executive of St Catherine’s Hospice, Stephen Greenhalgh, responded: “St Catherine’s is much-loved, well-respected local charity and we work hard to be here for people when it matters most.
“We are privileged to have fantastic supporters, dedicated staff, committed volunteers and experienced trustees. Comments from the Care Quality Commission are testament to the hard work and loyalty displayed by each and every person who has given something to support this good cause – be that their time, skills, a donation, or by sharing their experience of St Catherine’s with the wider community to help people to support one another during serious illness.
“Patient care is at the heart of everything we do, and it’s very humbling and encouraging to hear such wonderful feedback from our inspectors, who clearly recognise how the St Catherine’s community continues to go ‘above and beyond’ to help people with life-shortening illnesses to experience good quality of life and, when the time comes, comfort and dignity in death. We are also here to help families to remember, reflect and celebrate the life of their loved one.”
He added: “I’m pleased to say that the kind words reported by patients and their families in the CQC’s findings are echoed by those who have given feedback directly, by letter or through our website, where St Catherine’s has been rated by members of the public as being ‘five star’.
“I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks to everyone who helps make St Catherine’s such a special team and a special place .”
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