CQC praises hospice and opens doors to new patients

The CQC (Care Quality Commission) has re-inspected St. Joseph’s Hospice in Merseyside and found that improvements have been made across the board, since its previous inspection, and that it is now able to admit new patients.

Following an inspection in July 2017, which took place in the middle of a major clinical change management programme, the CQC rated the hospice as inadequate and placed it in special measures, putting a restriction on patient admissions.

Now, six months on, the hospice has been praised by the CQC for the work of its senior management team and the improvements it has made in a number of areas.

During its most recent inspection, on 11th and 12th December 2017, the CQC found that staff at the hospice were “kind and caring” and that patients were “treated with respect by staff”. The inspector also commented on the “good standards of privacy and dignity for people receiving in-patient care”.

The environment and equipment was found to be “well maintained” and all areas were found to be “clean and hygienic”. Staff were also found to have a “good knowledge of safeguarding procedures”. The families of patients at the hospice told inspectors that they felt the staffing levels helped them to “feel safe and supported”.

The inspector recognised that the hospice’s new clinical management team were “working closely with external health professionals to improve the medicines arrangements in the hospice” and that patients “received their medicines safely”.

It was clear to the inspector that “staff received a good level of support and training” and that they had “access to a variety of training courses”.

During the last inspection in July, the hospice was in the process of restructuring its clinical team as well as addressing some long standing issues with regards to clinical practice.

The inspector identified that the hospice’s new senior management has ensured that the “systems and processes for assuring the standards at the hospice are consistent and robust” and that “clinical governance was well monitored”.

The inspector also noted that the improvements had been effective and that the hospice was “initiating further changes to support the development of the service” in the future.

Mike Parr, Chief Executive of St. Joseph’s Hospice, said: “We are delighted that the hospice has finally been recognised by the CQC for the work that has, in fact, been ongoing here for the last 18 months.

“There is no doubt that we have been through a very difficult time, and have had to make some very significant changes, particularly with regards to clinical governance and staffing. But, we are now well on the way to putting these long standing and persistent issues behind us.

“We have received an immense amount of love and support from our patients and their families, as well as from our staff and members of our community, and for that we are extremely grateful.

“We have always been confident that the hospice is providing a more professional and safer service than ever before and now we are thrilled that the CQC has also recognised this and that we can now continue to move the hospice forward in to 2018 with a determination to improve further and a desire to help care for even more people in the future.”