Hospice Graded ‘Exceptional’ During Recent Official Inspection by Healthcare Improvement Scotland

Categories: Care and Leadership.

Strathcarron Hospice has received two ‘Exceptional’ grading awards and one ‘Good’ award following an unannounced inspection by Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) in February 2024.

Strathcarron Hospice – the largest independent hospice in Scotland – received an ‘Exceptional’ award for the strategic direction of services with inspectors praising the Hospice for having a clear vision and purpose, highlighting that staff felt valued and supported.

An ‘Exceptional’ grading was given for the implementation and delivery of care, how the Hospice engages with stakeholders and manages its performance and for its education and training programme for external healthcare professionals. It was also praised for expanding services to more patients in the community at an earlier stage in their illness.

The HIS report commended the Hospice’s five-year strategic plan and that staff have effective procedures helping support the safe delivery of care. Inspectors praised the training and support provided to staff and volunteers and noted that staff and patients were given an opportunity to contribute to improving the service.

A ‘Good’ rating was awarded for demonstrating that the Hospice provides safe, person centred care.

The report noted: “Staff working in the service were very positive about their experience and felt supported and valued. A thorough process was in place for recording the patient’s journey while in the care of the hospice. Patients and families told us the care they received was ‘first class’.”

The grading announcement coincides with Demystifying Death Week (6-12 May) across Scotland which shines a light on death, dying and bereavement.

Irene McKie, Strathcarron Hospice Chief Executive, said: “We are delighted to receive these ‘Exceptional’ and ‘Good’ grading awards from Health Improvement Scotland which are testament to the exemplary work that our staff and volunteers carry out each day.

“This report highlights that our staff are enthusiastic and proud of the work they do and patients and families described the service they have received as “first class” which is what we strive for every day.

“This shows the incredible compassion and professionalism of our skilled team. They build meaningful relationships at the worst times in the lives of the people and their loved ones that they’re caring for, allowing patients to be supported to live well and die well.”

Care and services right across our communities and within the 24 bedded ward within the Hospice are provided by 243 staff with support from hundreds of volunteers who contributed over 30,000 hours of volunteering during 2022-23.

Comments from staff surveyed by HIS included:

“Staff are encouraged to grow and develop in the organisation.”

“We work to the highest of standards and provide an absolutely amazing service to our patients we all go above and beyond for our patients and families.”

“I am always excited to come to work as I love that there are no two days the same. There is always a new challenge.”

“People who work here are motivated and positive and visibly support each other and want to do the best job that they can.”

Strathcarron Hospice provides essential services for patients with life-limiting conditions (including end-of-life care) for patients living in Forth Valley and Cumbernauld and Kilsyth in North Lanarkshire.

In 2022-23 the Hospice provided care for 323 patients in our 24 patient bedded unit, supported 357 Hospice at Home patients including 3286 visits, carried out 6435 Community Nurse Specialists visits to 1109 new patients and made 8142 clinical calls.

The Hospice has to raise £16,637 daily to provide the specialist end of life care and services to individuals and their families across its communities.



The full HIS report is available here

About Strathcarron Hospice

We support people across Forth Valley, Cumbernauld and Kilsyth living with a life limiting condition. We help to make every moment count for patients and their families, so that they can live well with their illness and make the most of the time they have, and when the time comes, to die well.

Strathcarron Hospice needs to raise around £102,000 a week to provide all their services, which are free to those who use them across our local communities.

As well as In- Patient and Hospice@Home care, our highly skilled multidisciplinary teams include Nursing teams, Patient and Family Support (social work), Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Pharmacist, Chaplains, Complementary Therapists, Consultants in Palliative Medicine and Specialty Doctors.

As a charity, Strathcarron Hospice is funded by the people we serve. They walk, run, cycle, jump, bake and go to many other amazing efforts to fundraise for their local Hospice. Strathcarron simply cannot continue delivering our valuable services free of charge, without the ongoing support of our communities.

With only one third of our hospice funded by the Government, we are incredibly grateful to our generous supporters who make up the significant shortfall.

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