• Hospice service

North Yorkshire Hospice Care

Overall: Good read more about inspection ratings

Saint Michael's Hospice, Crimple House, Hornbeam Park Avenue, Harrogate, HG2 8NA (01423) 879687

Provided and run by:
North Yorkshire Hospice Care

All Inspections

6 July 2023

During a monthly review of our data

We carried out a review of the data available to us about North Yorkshire Hospice Care on 6 July 2023. We have not found evidence that we need to carry out an inspection or reassess our rating at this stage.

This could change at any time if we receive new information. We will continue to monitor data about this service.

If you have concerns about North Yorkshire Hospice Care, you can give feedback on this service.

22 November 2023 and 23 November 2023

During a routine inspection

Our rating of this location improved. We rated it as good because:

We rated it as good because:

  • The service had enough staff to care for patients and keep them safe. Staff had training in key skills and understood how to protect patients from abuse. The service-controlled infection risk well. They managed medicines well. The service managed safety incidents well and learned lessons from them.
  • Staff provided good care and treatment and gave patients pain relief when they needed it. Managers monitored the effectiveness of the service and made sure staff were competent. Staff worked well together for the benefit of patients, supported them to make decisions about their care, and had access to good information.
  • Staff treated patients with compassion and kindness, respected their privacy and dignity, took account of their individual needs, and helped them understand their conditions. They provided emotional support to patients, families, and carers.
  • The service planned care to meet the needs of local people, took account of patients’ individual needs, and made it easy for people to give feedback.
  • Leaders ran services well using reliable information systems and supported staff to develop their skills. Staff understood the service’s vision and values, and how to apply them in their work. Staff felt respected, supported, and valued. They were focused on the needs of patients receiving care. Staff were clear about their roles and accountabilities. The service engaged well with patients and the community to plan and manage services and all staff were committed to improving services continually.


  • Checks of emergency medications were not always effective.
  • Staff were not always deployed in a way which enabled people to always access the service when they needed it.

2 July 2015

During a routine inspection

The inspection took place on 2 July 2015 and was unannounced.

At our last inspection on 15 October 2013 the provider was meeting all the regulations that were assessed.

Harrogate District Hospice Care Limited provided care and support to more than 2,000 people every year through its hospice and community based services. Services included specialised support at home, hospice care including day therapy and inpatient care, lymphoedema management, support for families and carers, and bereavement support. They are made available to people living in the Harrogate area who are at least 18 years old and there is no charge to people using the services.

This report follows an inspection visit to the 10 bedded inpatient unit known as Saint Michael’s Hospice, which was carried out on 2 July 2015. People are referred to the hospice in agreement with their consultant or GP and may be admitted for care during the last weeks and days of their life, symptom control, assessment and / or respite care. The hospice is located in a large adapted building overlooking Crimple Valley in Harrogate. During their stay people have access to a team of health and social care professionals as well as bereavement counsellors, complementary therapists and chaplains.

There is a registered manager. A registered manager is a person who has registered with the Care Quality Commission to manage the service. Like registered providers, they are ‘registered persons’. Registered persons have legal responsibility for meeting the requirements in the Health and Social Care Act 2008 and associated Regulations about how the service is run.

We found that Harrogate District Hospice Care Limited provided outstanding care. Effective leadership, management and governance systems were used along with clear strategic planning to critically assess their performance and create a culture of continual improvement, to meet the changing needs of the population.

There was a visible management presence throughout the service, which promoted the hospice vision and values and ensured consistent best practice. Feedback from people using the service, health and social care professionals and visitors was wholly positive. Everyone spoke highly of the care that they or their relative received and people said that staff were highly sensitive to their needs and were compassionate. Hospice staff were extremely proactive in finding out and meeting people’s emotional, spiritual and social needs as well as their physical needs. This meant people approaching end of life or with a life limiting conditions were actively supported to lead a full, active life. People were provided with as much information as they wanted and were encouraged to make their own decisions based on the best therapeutic options.

People spoke positively about all the staff and the catering team was singled out for particular mention. People who used the service and staff said that catering staff were always willing to make special efforts, to tempt people’s appetites with food that they might like or that had been requested. Everyone told us that the food was of an excellent quality and that mealtimes were a social occasion that everyone enjoyed.

There were examples of excellent partnership working and joint planning with commissioners and other providers, to ensure people received the best care. A joint initiative with the Harrogate Hospital Foundation Trust meant that people had the support of specialist care and advice whether they were in the hospice, in residential or nursing care, in hospital or at home. Staff were currently engaging with another care provider to review and better understand palliative care needs for people with a learning disability. This offered staff the opportunity to exchange professional ideas and promote best practice.

Volunteers were used extensively throughout the hospice and in the counselling and befriending services. Those services provided substantial practical care and emotional support during people’s illness and during bereavement. People experiencing emotional distress or poor mental health could also access counselling and support services, which operated alongside the bereavement support service. The award of a social action end of life project grant meant that the home care service was set to expand still further and thus enable people living with any terminal illness to benefit.

An extensive range of educational development programmes, meetings and support was provided to external organisations. This benefitted people living in the Harrogate district area through the dissemination of best practice and enhanced communication between partner agencies. Health and social care professionals endorsed the training they had undertaken and were positive about the benefits to their own work.

Effective management arrangements were in place to safeguard people and to promote their wellbeing. Safe recruitment practice was followed for both paid staff and volunteers, which minimised the risk of appointing someone unsuitable. All staff and volunteers received training appropriate to their role within the hospice. Staff were knowledgeable and had the right skills, knowledge and experience to provide people with safe, consistent care. Clinical supervision and counselling promoted staff self-awareness, professional accountability and emotional wellbeing, which further enhanced patient care.

There was a high level of expertise in the way people’s symptoms were managed and clinical care was delivered. Prescription charts were clear and the times medicines were administered conscientiously recorded and medicines due outside of normal medicine rounds were flagged to ensure they were not forgotten. Whilst practice issues regarding medicines management were discussed immediate action was taken once these matters were brought to the manager’s attention. The governance arrangement around the management of medicines including controlled drugs was good. Incidents including medicines errors were logged and reviewed by the manager quarterly to look for trends and to learn from what had happened.

People’s care plans gave a good overview of people’s individual needs and the assistance they required. They contained detailed information to instruct staff what action they should take to make sure people received appropriate care, treatment and specialist support. People were supported to attend healthcare appointments and hospice staff liaised with other healthcare professionals, to meet people’s holistic care needs.

A high value was placed on dignity and respect and the wishes of the person who was ill. Staff were aware of the requirements of the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) 2005 and Deprivations of Liberty safeguards (DoLS) and had applied their knowledge appropriately to ensure people’s rights and freedoms were upheld. Where people were unable to make complex decisions for themselves the service had considered the person’s capacity under the MCA and had taken action to arrange meetings to make a decision within their best interests.

15 October 2013

During a routine inspection

Due to the complex health needs of patients it was only appropriate for us to speak with two patients and two visitors.

Care and treatment was planned and delivered in a way that ensured patients' safety and welfare. Patients were supported by a team that ensured peoples' physical, emotional and spiritual needs were well met. Comments from people about the service included 'It is A1' and 'The staff are excellent and they are very supportive.'

Patients were protected from the risks of inadequate nutrition and dehydration. A recent patient satisfaction survey of the food and beverage service that was undertaken by the Food and Nutrition group at the hospice showed people rated their overall satisfaction with the food and beverage service as excellent. The hospice employed a qualified dietician.

The provider had taken steps to provide care in a suitable environment. Accommodation consisted of ten en-suite rooms of differing sizes. We saw rooms were bright, nicely decorated and in a good state of repair. Other facilities available for patients within the unit and their visitors included a spiritual area, treatment rooms, sitting room, visitors lounge, kitchen and bathroom.

Staff received appropriate professional development. The four members of staff and one volunteer worker we spoke with told us they were well supported by both their colleagues and the management.

The provider had arrangements in place to monitor how the service was run.

8 October 2012

During a routine inspection

During the visit we reviewed the care provided on the In-Patient Unit. We spoke with two people receiving care and two relatives. They all told us that they were involved in making decisions about their care. Comments from people included; "The staff treat me with respect" and "The staff are wonderful".

The people receiving care and the relatives we spoke with all told us that they were happy with the care they received. Comments included; "First Class" and "Top Notch". One relative said "The staff give us so much attention".

People who use the service were protected from the risk of abuse, because the provider had taken reasonable steps to identify the possibility of abuse and prevent abuse from happening. The provider had in place policies and procedures for safeguarding adults and children and a whistleblowing policy was in place. We spoke with six members of staff. They all had a clear understanding of the different types of abuse and who they would report concerns to. All the people that we spoke with said they felt safe. They said that staff were "Special" and "Very caring".

We viewed four staff files and looked at the recruitment procedures in place. All the files contained the relevant pre-employment checks. This meant that the provider was assured that staff were not barred from working with adults or children.

People using the service and their relatives told us they were always asked if they were happy with the care and support provided.

25 October 2011

During a routine inspection

During this visit we did not speak with people receiving support in the Day Therapy Unit but looked at care provided on the In-Patient Unit. We could not speak to as many people as we would have liked to, because of the particular care needs of the people on the day we visited.

However those people we did speak with told us they were highly satisfied with the care and support they, or their relative was receiving there. Their comments included 'I couldn't be more pleased with the treatment I've been receiving here'. And 'I have enormous confidence in the managers and staff. They give me all the time I need.'

A visitor, who spends a great deal of time at the hospice spoke with us too, as their relative was not able to voice their views. They commented that staff 'Without fail speak respectfully to X. I have no criticism at any level.' They added 'I can't imagine X would be any better cared for anywhere else.'