Hospice inspections show most are 'good' or 'outstanding'

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More than 90% of England's hospices inspected so far have been rated as "good" or "outstanding", the care watchdog said.

The ratings come a year after the Care Quality Commission (CQC) introduced more rigorous assessments.

Andrea Sutcliffe, its chief inspector of adult social care, said the results were "encouraging" and "what people deserve" at the end of their lives.

So far, 37 hospice services have been inspected, out of a total of 324.

Of those, 10 were judged "outstanding", 24 were "good" and two were in the "requires improvement" category.

The CQC is due to have reviewed all 25,000 adult social care services, including the further 287 hospice and hospice home-care services, by September 2016.

Ms Sutcliffe said: "This is just what we should expect and what people certainly deserve at the end of their lives.

"Success starts with strong leaders who motivate, value and support skilled staff to go the extra mile in sensitively caring for every single person as an individual."

'Make care better'

The release of the CQC ratings was timed to coincide with World Hospice and Palliative Care Day.

It comes days after end-of-life care in the UK was ranked as the best in the world, with the NHS and the hospice movement helping to provide care that was "second to none".

Jonathan Ellis, director of policy and advocacy at Hospice UK, said: "Hospices only get about a third of their funding from the NHS. The rest comes through that hard work and fundraising in the local communities in support of local people.

"But one of the ways we can increase the quality of care and the availability of good care is by making care better in hospitals, in care homes and in people's own homes. And hospices have a really key role to play in helping make that happen."

'Outstanding' hospices

  • Pilgrim's Hospice Ashford (run by Pilgrims Hospices in East Kent) in Kent
  • Claire House Children's Hospice (run by Claire House) in Wirral, Merseyside
  • St Cuthbert's Hospice (run by St Cuthbert's Hospice Limited) in Durham
  • Julia's House (run by Julia's House Limited) in Dorset
  • Ashgate Hospice (rub by Ashgate hospice care Limited) in Derbyshire
  • Zoe's Place Middlesbrough (run by Zoe's Place Trust) in Cleveland
  • Forget Me Not Children's Hospice (run by The Forget Me Not Children's Hospice Limited) in West Yorkshire
  • Marie Curie Hospice West Midlands (run by Marie Curie) in Solihull
  • Shooting Star House (run by Shooting Star CHASE) in Middlesex
  • St Wilfrid's Hospice (run by St Wilfrid's Hospice Eastbourne) in Eastbourne

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