Princess Alice Hospice rated ‘Outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC)

Categories: Care.

On 17 March 2022, the national independent regulator of health and social care services awarded the top rating of ‘Outstanding’, following a rigorous inspection of the Hospice’s expert palliative and end of life care services that took place in November and December 2021.

Following publication of the full report on its website, the CQC highlighted how 92% of patients achieved their preferred place of death and “doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals worked together as a team to benefit patients”. The report concluded that “multidisciplinary working was widespread across the service and reflected a focus on holistic, multifactorial care”.

Inspectors said that “staff demonstrated initiative in their kindness and efforts to make people comfortable and happy in their last days”, and they provided many examples of staff and volunteers who had gone above and beyond in their roles, planning and delivering new ways of providing patients with positive experiences.

Several areas of outstanding practices were highlighted, including the provision of emotional support to patients, families and carers to minimise their distress, and the comprehension of patients’ personal, cultural and religious needs. Inspectors stated that “staff empowered families and carers to understand their condition and make decisions about their care and treatment and be active partners in their care”. It was also noted that “staff had assessed regional unmet health needs to identify vulnerable groups who may benefit from access to hospice care”, e.g. people experiencing homelessness within the broad geographic care area.

The Hospice was commended for its promotion of inclusivity and equality as well as its tangible sense of flexibility and adaptability amongst staff to meet people’s needs. The CQC said the service had a vision for what it wanted to achieve and a strategy to turn it into action in a sustainable way.  It had a culture of learning, demonstrable high levels of engagement, and a willingness to introduce new approaches to care, such as delivering Wellbeing sessions using Zoom and making use of emerging technologies such as Virtual Reality (VR).

Nicki Shaw, Chief Executive, said: “The last couple of years have been immensely challenging, but we have made it through thanks to an amazing and dedicated team and the support and encouragement of our communities. It’s a great privilege to provide free, expert, compassionate palliative and end of life care to patients and their families and carers at a very difficult time in their lives.

“The publication of this report comes as we are about to embark on the launch of our new strategy for the future. The retention of our Outstanding rating – first awarded in 2016 – is a tremendous boost to everyone and will give us the confidence to help us achieve our vision.”



The full CQC Inspection report is available HERE 

The Hospice’s overall rating is OUTSTANDING – five domains were assessed and rated as follows:

Are services safe? GOOD

Are services effective? GOOD

Are services caring? OUTSTANDING

Are services responsive to people’s needs? OUTSTANDING

Are services well-led? OUTSTANDING

These areas were judged using the Acute/Hospitals framework, which is different to the framework used in our previous CQC inspection in September 2016, which was the Adult and Social Care methodology.



Princess Alice Hospice: For Compassion. For Excellence. For People. For Living.

Princess Alice Hospice has, for more than 35 years, provided free, high-quality, specialist end of life care to tens of thousands of people across a large part of Surrey, south west London and Middlesex. Today, at any one time, Hospice nurses, doctors and other specialist staff are looking after more than 900 people in need.  The Hospice’s mission is to reach out to even more people by delivering outstanding care to those that need it. To enable us to do this, we must rely on the commitment and support of our communities who help us to raise vital funds.

£10.1 million is needed each year to provide our vital services. With limited NHS funding provided by CCGs, which represents circa 24% of our expenditure on charitable activities, in more normal times, the balance is raised through legacies, fundraising, dedicated shop units and investments. It is only the generous support of our communities and beyond, that makes it possible to do our work.









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