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Marie Curie Hospice Newcastle Outstanding


Inspection carried out on 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 situa

Inspection carried out on 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.

Inspection carried out on 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.”

Inspection carried out on 18 April 2012

During an inspection in response to concerns

We did not speak with people who use the service during this visit.

Inspection carried out on 2 February 2012

During a routine inspection

People using the service told us they had positive experiences of using the service.

Reports under our old system of regulation (including those from before CQC was created)