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CQC inspectors seek improvements at Sefton hospice

29 August 2017
St Joseph's Hospice
  • Media,
  • Hospices

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has placed St Joseph’s Hospice in Sefton, Merseyside into special measures following an inspection in July.

The hospice in Ince Road, Thornton, provides care and support for people with progressive, degenerative conditions and for people with brain injury and terminal illness. The hospice also provides end of life care and support to terminally ill people and their families. There were 25 people using their services at the time of inspection.

CQC had previously rated the service as Requires Improvement following an inspection in October 2016. It is now rated as Inadequate. Read the full inspection report.

CQC has placed conditions on the hospice’s registration including preventing further admissions until the provider can demonstrate significant improvement.

Debbie Westhead, Deputy Chief Inspector for Adult Social Care, said:

“People are entitled to services providing safe, effective, responsive and high quality care. We found that St Joseph’s Hospice, although providing a highly-valued service, was falling short of the standards that are required.

“It is a matter of concern that on three successive inspections we have identified significant areas for improvement. At this latest inspection in July, we found some of the same safety issues remained, but we also found fresh concerns.

“We have now taken action to ensure there are no further admissions until these matters are dealt with properly. A period in special measures will allow the hospice to seek the support it needs to address our concerns and protect the people in their care. We are working closely with partners including clinical commissioning groups to ensure people’s safety.”

Inspectors found concerns around the way some medicines were administered and recorded which placed people at high risk of harm.

The hospice did not always provide effective assessment and monitoring of pain.

Although people reported positive experiences, there were examples of care where people's privacy and dignity were not being respected.

Staff did not always follow the principles of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 when people were unable to give consent.

Services in special measures will be kept under review and if CQC have not taken immediate action to propose cancelling the provider's registration, they will be inspected again within six months. The expectation is that locations providing inadequate care should have made significant improvements within this timeframe.


For further information please contact CQC Regional Engagement Officer Kerri James by email or by phone on 07464 92 9966.

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:
29 August 2017

Notes to editors


There are four ratings that CQC can give to health and social care services: outstanding, good, requires improvement and inadequate.

  • Outstanding - the service is performing exceptionally well.
  • Good - the service is performing well and meeting expectations.
  • Requires improvement - the service isn't performing as well as it should and CQC have told the service how it must improve.
  • Inadequate - the service is performing badly and CQC have taken action against the person or organisation that runs it.


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


CQC published a comprehensive ‘state of care’ report about adult social care services from 2014 to 2017 which can be viewed on the website here.


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.