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Marie Curie Hospice and Community Services North East Outstanding

Inspection Summary

Overall summary & rating


Updated 6 September 2016

The inspection took place on 13 and 14 June 2016 and was announced. We last inspected the hospice on 21 November 2013. The provider met the requirements of the regulations we inspected during this inspection.

The Marie Curie Hospice, Newcastle provides specialist care for people with cancer and other life-limiting illnesses. The Newcastle hospice provides in-patient care, day care, out-patient support and short breaks. The hospice is registered for 22 people with 20 people receiving treatment when we visited.

The hospice had 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.

The hospice excelled at providing people with person-centred care that met all of their needs, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Dedicated, committed and compassionate staff provided care that maintained people’s dignity and respect. One person told us, “Its Brilliant, [I am] happy to be here and staff are happy to help.” Another person said, “I am having an absolutely marvellous time, I came in a week ago and wanted to crawl into a hole. This week I feel so much better.”

We found numerous examples where staff had gone the extra mile to meet people's wishes and create special memories for relatives. For example, arranging weddings, other celebrations and supporting people to attend events or fulfil their wishes.

People told us they were totally in control of decisions about their care. Staff supported people creatively to express their views and make choices. Bereavement support and support for families and children was a priority for staff at the hospice.

There was a strong focus on rehabilitation and promoting people's independence for as long as possible.

The provider's values put people at the heart of the care delivered at the hospice. Staff understood the values and how they translated into people's care.

The hospice had an open, transparent culture which encouraged involvement from people and staff. The hospice actively looked for new ways of working and delivering on-going improvements for the benefit of people.

Exceptionally strong governance arrangements were in place to ensure the hospice was safe and providing the best care. People gave positive feedback about the leadership and management of the hospice. One person commented, “It must be well led, as it is brilliant.”

The hospice was keen to not be a stand-alone service and had developed string partnerships with other organisations. They also took part in research projects to help advance palliative care.

People and staff told us the hospice was safe. One person commented, “I feel safe, it is brilliant.”

Staff had a good understanding of safeguarding and the service’s whistle-blowing policy, including how to report concerns. All staff members said they would raise any concerns straightaway. One staff member said, “I would be the first to speak up if I saw anything.”

People were assessed to help keep them safe from potential risks, such as the risk of poor nutrition, skin damage and falls. Where a potential risk had been identified measures were in place to help minimise harm to people, such as providing specialist equipment to prevent people from falling.

Medicines records, systems and processes supported the safe management of medicines.

There were sufficient staff to ensure people's needs, choices and preferences were met promptly. People, relatives and staff all confirmed staffing levels on the ward were good.

Effective recruitment processes, including pre-employment checks, ensured prospective new staff had the relevant skills and attributes and were suitable to provide person-centred care.

There were plans in place to deal with emergency situa

Inspection areas



Updated 6 September 2016

The service was safe.

Staff knew how to recognise and respond to safeguarding concerns.

Staffing levels were good with enough staff on duty to provide safe, person-centred care.

Risks were managed with appropriate action taken to minimise harm to people.

Medicines were managed safely.



Updated 6 September 2016

The service was particularly effective.

Staff were highly skilled, knowledgeable and well-trained.

Staff received good support and had regular opportunities for professional development.

The provider followed the Mental Capacity Act so that people were not unlawfully deprived of their liberty and supported to make decisions.

People's nutritional needs were met well including preferences and special dietary requirements.

A Multi-disciplinary team of health and social care professionals was available to care for people.



Updated 6 September 2016

The service was extremely caring.

People and relatives told us about the �brilliant� and �marvellous� experience they had whilst stating at the hospice. They said they had been treated with great care, kindness and respect.

Staff were committed to doing as much as they possibly could to enhance people's physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.

People felt in control and were actively involved, where possible, in all decisions about their care and treatment.

There was a strong focus on rehabilitation to ensure people could be as independent as possible.



Updated 6 September 2016

The service was responsive.

People were in total control of their care and treatment and were consulted about their care plans.

Care was evaluated daily to keep up with people's changing needs.

Care was person-centred and people were supported to make choices about how they spent their day.

The small number of complaints received had been dealt with professionally.



Updated 6 September 2016

The service was especially well led.

The registered manager and the management team provided strong, robust leadership. This helped ensure care was provided in a culture of honesty, compassion and respect.

People and staff particularly commented on the effective management of the hospice. People confirmed they were valued and their views listened to and acted on.

The hospice had developed effective and successful partnerships with a range of organisations and regularly took part in research to improve palliative care for people both in the hospice and the wider community.

The provider proactively monitored, evaluated and improved the quality of people's care. Staff were highly motivated and committed to improving people's care.