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Colchester hospice rated Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission

30 June 2017
St Helena Hospice
  • Care homes with nursing,
  • Hospices,
  • Rehabilitation (from illness or injury)

The Care Quality Commission has found the quality of care provided by St Helena Hospice in Highwoods, Colchester, Essex, to be Outstanding overall following an inspection in November.

St Helena Hospice is a charity which provides a range of hospice services for people aged over 16 with a life-limiting illness in North East Essex and Colne Valley, mid Essex. It provides a range of palliative care services to patients at home, through two day centres and in an inpatient unit with 15 beds. The hospice also offers a 24 hour telephone advice line, a range of complementary therapies, counselling, support for carers and bereavement support groups which were also available to children.

Inspectors found staff were caring and compassionate and people were being provided with safe, responsive, caring, effective and well-led care. A full report of the inspection has been published on our website.

Under CQC’s programme of inspections, all adult social care services are being given a rating according to whether they are safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led. St Helena Hospice was rated Outstanding overall, Outstanding for being caring and responsive and Good for being safe, effective and well-led.

Jemima Burnage, CQC’s Head of Inspection for Adult Social Care in the central region, said:

“Our inspection team was really impressed by the level of care and support given to those using St Helena Hospice."

“The service had a strong person centred approach, people's dignity was supported and staff treated people with respect at all times. Staff were exceptional at helping people express their views."

“People who had to come to terms with a life-limiting illness or terminal diagnosis told us repeatedly that they were enabled to manage their condition and emotional wellbeing because of the excellent care and support received from across the hospice. Staff were exceptionally kind, caring and compassionate and people were keen to share their stories of compassionate, appropriate, care, treatment and support."

“The hospice was proactive in reaching out to communities which did not traditionally access their services. Innovative methods had been used to encourage people to access the support available to them and care was delivered in a way that encouraged inclusion, acceptance and the promotion of diversity. The 'Safe Harbour' project provided hospice services and supported people affected by homelessness, alcohol and drugs misuse."

“Staff knew how to recognise signs of potential abuse and how to put measures in place to overcome safeguarding issues. Risks to people`s well-being were assessed daily and measures were in place to mitigate risks and help keep people safe. People were involved in setting their priorities for care and their wishes and preferences were respected. They were asked what was important to them and supported to make decisions and choices about advanced care plans and desired places of death."

“All of this meant people received a high standard of care, which is why it has been rated Outstanding.”

Andrea Sutcliffe, Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care, said:

“The quality of care which our inspectors found here was exceptional and I am very pleased that we can celebrate the service’s achievements."

“An outstanding service is the result of a tremendous amount of hard work and commitment. I would like to thank and congratulate everyone involved.”


For further information, please contact Regional Engagement Officer, Helen Gildersleeve, on 0191 233 3379.

Journalists wishing to speak to the press office outside of office hours can find out how to contact the team here.

Please note: the press office is unable to advise members of the public on health or social care matters. For general enquiries, please call 03000 61 61 61.

Last updated:
30 June 2017

Notes to editors

To get to the heart of people’s experiences of care, we always ask the following five questions of services.

  • Are they safe?
  • Are they effective?
  • Are they caring?
  • Are they responsive to people’s needs?
  • Are they well-led?

Providers are required by law to display their ratings on their premises and on their websites so that the public can see their rating quickly and easily. This should be done within 21 days of publication of their inspection report.


About the Care Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care in England.

We make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care and we encourage care services to improve.

We monitor, inspect and regulate services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety and we publish what we find to help people choose care.