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Hertfordshire hospice is rated Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission

12 September 2016
The Hospice of St Francis
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The Care Quality Commission has found the quality of care provided by The Hospice of St Francis in Berkhamstead, Hertfordshire, to be Outstanding overall following an inspection carried out in May.

The Hospice of St Francis provides palliative and end of life care, advice and clinical support for people with progressive, life limiting illnesses and their families and carers. It also delivers physical, emotional and holistic care, including bereavement counselling support for children as well as adults, an outpatient service, occupational and creative therapy, complementary and physiotherapy, spiritual support, social workers, clinical nurse specialists and volunteer services.

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.

Under CQC’s new 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. The Hospice of St Francis was rated Outstanding overall, Outstanding for being effective, caring, responsive and well-led and Good for being safe.

Deb Holland, CQC’s Head of Adult Social Care Inspection in the central region, said:

“We were impressed with what we found during our inspection of The Hospice of St Francis and inspectors were struck by how caring staff were to those using the service.

“We saw that people received excellent care from experienced staff with the knowledge and skills to support their complex health needs. Staff were trained in how to protect people from abuse and harm and demonstrated a strong sense of responsibility and in-depth knowledge about safeguarding issues.

“People being cared for, and their families, received outstanding support from staff and volunteers who developed positive, caring and compassionate relationships with them. People told us staff helped them to live their life in comfort and pain free, and they were overwhelmingly positive about the approach, kindness and devotion staff showed to meeting people's needs.

“People were involved in decisions about their care and asked about where and how they would like to be cared for when they reached the end of their life. Those using the service were treated with absolute sensitivity, dignity and respect and staff demonstrated exceptional knowledge about people`s needs, wishes, likes and dislikes - even for those who had moved in to the hospice’s in-patient unit in the last 24 hours.

“The hospice also established seamless working relationships with other organisations so it could reach out to as many people with complex needs as possible.

“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 Louise Grifferty, regional engagement manager, on 07717 422917.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 May 2017

Notes to editors

Providers are required to display their ratings on their premises and on their websites so that the public can see their rating quickly and easily.

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.