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  • Two Marie Curie hospices rated outstanding by CQC

    End of life charity Marie Curie has received an ‘outstanding’ rating in a report published on 22 March by The Care Quality Commission for the charity’s Newcastle Hospice and community services in the North East.

    Marie Curie is a charitable organisation which raises funds to offer care and support through terminal illness. It is the UK’s largest charitable employer of palliative nurses and professionals. It is also the largest charitable funder of palliative care research.

    It offers care, guidance and support to adults with life shortening conditions and terminal illness.

    These inspections were carried out as part of CQC’s checks on the safety and quality of healthcare services.

    Following the inspection at Marie Curie Hospice and Community Services North East in Newcastle, it has again been rated outstanding overall and for being effective caring and well-led. It has been re-rated as good for being safe and responsive.

    Marie Curie Hospice and Community Services Yorkshire Region, based in Bradford, has improved from good to outstanding overall, and for being responsive and well-led. Safe, effective and caring have again been rated as good.

    Sheila Grant, CQC deputy director of operations in the north, said:  “When we inspected both Marie Curie hospices, we were extremely impressed by how well-led they were. We found staff were working really hard to provide a high standard of care to people, as well as providing emotional support to those close to them, during such a difficult time.

    “We heard at Marie Curie Hospice and Community Services Yorkshire Region, the service had introduced a magical garden. This was to support children who may have experienced bereavement, or who may be spending time with a sick relative in the hospice. Staff told us it created opportunities to open up conversations around difficult topics like coping with loss, and feelings around death and dying.

    “At Marie Curie Hospice and Community Services North East, staff found innovative ways to support people and those close to them, for example, by arranging Christmas early for a father to have one last Christmas with his four-year-old child. We heard how each year staff went above and beyond to create a winter wonderland in the garden area that each bedroom looked out onto. We also heard about an African safari adventure that had been created throughout the building as a surprise for a couple that hadn’t been able to travel, but had always hoped to go on safari.

    “All staff should be extremely proud of the care they’re providing to people and their families. They clearly work hard to provide exceptional care and other providers should look at this report to see if there’s anything they can learn.”

    Inspectors found at both hospices:

    • Staff provided a high standard of care and treatment and gave people pain relief when they needed it
    • The involvement of other organisations and the local community was integral to how services were planned and ensured that services met the needs of the local communities
    • People could access both hospices when they needed it
    • Leaders were dedicated to providing a high-quality service and promoted an open culture. They ran services well using reliable information systems and supported staff to develop their skills.

    Stuart O'Brien

    All stories by: Stuart O'Brien

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