• Hospice service

Marie Curie Hospice and Community Services North East

Overall: Outstanding read more about inspection ratings

Marie Curie Drive, Elswick, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, NE4 6SS (0191) 219 1000

Provided and run by:
Marie Curie

All Inspections

23 to 24 January 2024

During a routine inspection

Our rating of this service stayed the same. We rated it as outstanding because:

  • The service had enough staff to care for patients and keep them safe. Staff had training in key skills, understood how to protect patients from abuse, and managed safety well. The service controlled infection risk well. Staff assessed risks to patients, acted on them and kept good care records. They managed medicines well. The service managed safety incidents well and learned lessons from them.
  • Staff provided a high standard of evidence-based care and treatment, consistently gave patients enough to eat and drink in response to individualised plans, and gave them 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 and those close to them, supported them to make decisions about their care, and had access to good information. Key services were available seven days a week.
  • Staff were consistently committed to treating patients and those close to them with compassion and kindness, respected their privacy and dignity, found innovative ways to meet their individual needs, and helped them understand their conditions. They provided strong, caring and respectful emotional support to patients, and those close to them. Staff worked in partnership with patients and those close to them and were intuitive to their needs.
  • The hospice was an active partner in planning care to meet the needs of local people. The service actively engaged with extensive local organisations to understand the changing needs of the local populations. They took account of patients’ individual needs and made it easy for people to give feedback. People could access the service when they needed it.
  • Leaders were dedicated to providing an inclusive, compassionate and highly effective service. They ran services well using reliable information systems and consistently supported staff to develop their skills and succeed in the delivery of a high-quality service. Staff understood the service’s vision and values, and how to apply them in their work. Staff felt respected, supported and valued and were focussed on providing best practice to meet the needs of patients and those close to them. Staff were clear about their roles and accountabilities. The service was consistently committed to seeking constructive engagement with patients, those close to them and the community to plan and manage services. All staff were empowered and committed to improving services.

13 June 2016

During a routine inspection

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 situations. Health and safety checks helped keep the hospice safe.

Staff were very well supported and had the training they needed to be effective in their role. Staff took ownership of the supervision process and agreed the frequency of their supervisions jointly with their line manager. Emotional support was available for staff if they required it.

Where people lacked capacity the provider acted in accordance with the Mental Capacity Act (MCA). Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) had been authorised where required. Staff used a variety of methods to support people with decision making and making choices.

People were supported to ensure their nutritional needs were met in line with their preferences. The hospice was able to cater for a wide range of cultural and dietary requirements. People's views about the meals provided were actively sought to improve people's experiences.

A multi-disciplinary team of health and social care professionals provided people's care. People had access to a doctor 24 hours a day through the on-call system.

People's needs had been assessed and personalised care plans developed. People had discussed their preferences with staff on admission to help ensure they received the care they wanted.

Staff were responsive to people's pain management needs. The provider was developing a more effective pain management tool.

Daily handover meetings and the weekly multi-disciplinary team (MDT) meeting ensured all people were discussed in-depth by a range of professionals. Care and treatment was evaluated every day to reflect people's changing needs.

People knew how to make a complaint if they were unhappy with their care or treatment. One person commented, “Yes I know how [to make a complaint], not had the need.” Two formal complaints received during 2015 had been fully investigated and action taken to address the issues.

21 November 2013

During a routine inspection

We spoke with people who used the service and with their relatives. All those we spoke with told us they were very happy with the service they received.

Comments included “Wonderful staff, fantastic place – the food is champion and care is absolutely lovely” and, “There are loads of staff and they are fine. I just have to ask and I am attended to immediately.” One person told us how the provider had allowed her to have her dogs in the hospice for therapeutic reasons and how “…everyone is polite, courteous and there are no issues or concerns.”

Staff said they were “…well supported” and this helped them to deliver “…very good care”. We were told by a recently appointed member of staff they felt “…really settled, really happy, welcomed and enjoy the nature of the work.”

People who used the service said they did not have any complaints, concerns or issues about the care and treatment given. We saw the hospice was well furnished, clean and situated in appropriate surroundings and a comfortable environment.

We checked patient records and saw before people received care or treatment they were asked for their consent and the provider acted in accordance with their wishes. We confirmed staff received training and support to deliver care and treatment safely to patients.

There were systems in place to identify, assess and manage risks to the health, safety and welfare of people used the service and others.

19 December 2012

During a routine inspection

We observed that people were encouraged to voice their opinions and be involved in how their individual care and treatment was provided. Staff told us, and people confirmed, they would always ask people first before providing care and not automatically assume they wanted help.

We saw a full assessment was undertaken when a person was admitted, which included nursing and clinical assessments as well as a care assessment. We saw from care records and from talking with people that they were involved in assessments of their needs and care planning.

We found there were enough qualified, skilled and experienced staff to meet people’s needs. People we spoke with were satisfied with the staff providing their care and raised no concerns about staffing levels. One person commented, “the staff are a real nice bunch of people.” Another person said, “staff are respectful, caring and nothing is a problem. They have time to care and re-assure us.”

We saw that people who used the service had been asked for their views about their care and treatment and suggestions were acted on. For example provision of a cold drinks machine and more varied food options for people who had special dietary requirements had been introduced following suggestions made by people who used the service. Regarding the quality of the service one person commented, “As good as home, care is fantastic, absolutely first class.”