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Zoe’s Place in Middlesbrough is rated as Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission

26 January 2015
  • Media

The Care Quality Commission has rated the quality of care provided by Zoe’s Place based in Middlesbrough, Cleveland, as Outstanding.

Zoe’s Place is a hospice that provides care and support for children with life limiting illnesses who have complex needs and is one of the first social care services to receive the top rating under CQC’s new approach to the inspection.

During an inspection in August, CQC inspectors found that children using the service were receiving care which was safe, effective, caring, responsive and well led, from staff who were compassionate and delivered individualised care.

A full report of the inspection has been published today at

Inspectors noted how staff interacted with the children and their families, supporting them with care and compassion. One parent told inspectors “The staff give amazing support”.

Staff working at the hospice fully understood the needs of the children in their care and staff were supported and encouraged to attend additional training. For example, additional training had been undertaken in child bereavement, tracheostomy care, pain awareness, epilepsy, and autism.

In particular staff had an excellent knowledge of each child’s dietary requirements. A dietician was involved in providing advice for all children who used the service to ensure that their nutritional needs were fully catered for.

Staff at the hospice had open access to the paediatric day unit and ward at James Cook University Hospital. This meant that appointments did not need to be made for a child to be seen by a medical professional at short notice.

Care plans for each child were incredibly detailed and included information about their individual medical history, specific care needs, but also their preferences, likes and dislikes and how they liked to play.

Inspectors saw that staff had completed a holiday diary for one child who had respite care at the time of the inspection. Circumstances had prevented the child from going on holiday with their parents and to compensate for this staff had decided to keep a diary of all the fun activities the child had taken part in.

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

“We found that Zoe’s Place was providing an outstanding service to the children it supported and to their families, and the team there should be extremely proud of the work they do.

“We know how rewarding it is to work in such a service, and we were struck by the extent to which the hospice places the children at the heart of everything it does. More than anything else, the way in which the staff team are led to think of each child as a unique individual and respond accordingly, is why this hospice has received the highest rating we can give.

“The support provided was designed not just to meet the child’s needs, but also to support parents and siblings. As an example – the registered manager told us about their parent support group which met monthly to offer support and advice, and a separate sibling group that met four times a year to take part in fun activities together.”


For media enquiries, call the CQC press office on 020 7448 9401 during office hours or out of hours on 07789 876508.

For general enquiries, call 03000 61 61 61.

Last updated:
30 May 2017

Notes to editors


CQC has published a full report at:


Zoe’s Place is registered to provide care and support for up to six children who have life limiting illnesses, with special and complex needs to varying degrees. The service offers respite, palliative and terminal care to children aged from birth to five years.


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.