End of life home nursing service receives CQC ‘outstanding’ rating

Categories: Care and Featured.

Marie Curie’s palliative care nursing service for the North East of England has been rated ‘outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The charity’s Nursing and Domiciliary Care Service, North East region, has been awarded the top rating following a visit from the independent regulator in October.

The service currently provides care to over 200 adults in their own homes. The CQC assessed the service received by people provided with ‘personal care’, which includes help with tasks related to personal hygiene and eating. Inspectors spoke to patients, their relatives and members of staff, and looked at patients’ care plans, risk assessments and medicines records, reviewed staff training and recruitment documentation, quality assurance systems, policies and business plans.

In the inspection area of being responsive, the service has been rated ‘outstanding’, with the CQC reporting that feedback from people’s relatives has been without exception, outstanding, consistently saying they felt empowered and encouraged to play a part in planning the end stages of life of their loved ones. One said, “They took the time to get to know everything and they were so respectful and calm after that. It put us at ease and reduced [person’s] anxieties.”

They also found that the service responded quickly to people’s choices. The 24 hour Rapid Response service works closely with district nurses to coordinate care for patients when they leave hospital, and external professionals said: “It is an invaluable service for us and for people who need it – there are people who would otherwise have come to the end of their lives in hospital when they wanted to be comfortable at home. The service has enabled this.”

Additionally the service has been rated ‘outstanding’ for being well-led, which encompasses service leadership, management, person-centred care, supported learning and innovation, and promoting an open, fair culture.

The CQC’s report states that “palliative care provided by the service was exceptional. It was seen as a leader and played an important role in improving palliative care across the North East.” They also found that staff morale is high, and feedback included their love for the role and the support they received. One said: “It’s like no other role I’ve done. It’s intimate and sometimes emotionally challenging but so rewarding…the support is second to none.”

In the areas of ‘safe’, ‘effective’ and ‘caring’, the service received a rating of ‘good’, unchanged from its previous inspection in 2017.

To read the full report visit CQC