Excellent, brilliant and proud are just some of the words staff at St Elizabeth Hospice used when told about the rating of outstanding awarded to the hospice by the Care Quality Commission.
The report follows an unannounced inspection in October 2016, and describes the hospice as ‘extremely caring and focused on providing a tailored service’ and having ‘excellent leadership and management’.
Verity Jolly, the Registered Manager and hospice director of patient services said: “We are all very proud of this achievement because the service we provide is so important. The report confirms the skills, experience and commitment of all staff and volunteers to make the hospice a very special place that puts the patient and their family right at the centre of everything”.
The report includes some key highlights including that patients felt safe and trusted the staff, and there is the right number of staff with the appropriate skills and knowledge to meet people’s needs. Patients and families used words like nurturing, and lovely and kind, to describe the care and nursing staff.
Feedback from patients and families was overwhelmingly positive, one patient highlighted ‘an act of kindness’, “when I first came here I said I liked reading a newspaper but didn’t get one any more as it’s too much effort, but every day I come here there is a paper waiting for me with my first cup of tea. How kind is that?”
The report also identified that the service was responsive to need, citing an example where a Hospice at Home nurse organised a discharge home from hospital. “We will get him home today”, the nurse told the relative and even though it was a Saturday, by 3pm that day “he was home with us’’. This relative had nothing but praise.
A major finding was that the service provided outstanding end of life care and people were enabled to experience a comfortable, dignified and pain-free death.
Staff and volunteers are thrilled by the outcome, and enjoyed tea and cakes to mark the achievement, and an evening celebration has also been planned.
The hospice provides specialist support to people in the east Suffolk area. Much of this support is given where people live, in the community, in people’s homes or care homes, helping people manage the day to day symptoms of their illness. The hospice also has a day service where people can visit for short periods of time to receive treatment, and an inpatients unit in Ipswich with 18 beds.