Hospice told to improve by inspectors

INSPECTORS told Rotherham Hospice to improve its care plans for patients and how it stores medication.

The Broom Road charity was given an overall rating of “requires improvement” by the Care Quality Commission.

Chief executive Chris Duff said improvements had already been made - adding: “We aim to be regarded as ‘outstanding’ in future.”

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Inspectors found 12 bottles of medicine in a cupboard with no way of telling when they had been opened - and a box of medicine 14 days out of date.

The report said: “We found evidence the service was not consistently following safe practice around medicines management.”

Care plans on the inpatient unit did not fully reflect patients’ needs, the CQC said, and the standardised printed forms allowed little space to personalise. 

In one case, a patient had a catheter inserted but no mention was made of this in the care plan.

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The report said: “All the care plans we looked at lacked detail about care management.

People we spoke with were informed and could describe their care, but care plans did not always accurately reflect their care needs.”

Clinical services director Paula Hill said patients and their families could continue to have confidence in the hospice.

She added: “The two things that were highlighted were the storage of medicines and concerns about the individualisation of care plans.

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“The immediate response on the day was to remove the out of date items. We have an action plan and have responded to the issues raised. 

“Care plans are now much more personalised. We are making sure much more that they tell a story about the person.”

The CQC praised the team of “suitably-skilled, competent and experienced” team of employees, who were given the necessary training and support.

“Staff and volunteers we spoke with told us how proud they were to work at the hospice and how fulfilling their job was,” the report added.

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Arrangements were also in place to allow for staffing levels to be increased at short notice should patients’ needs require this.

The CQC found the building to be clean, organised and uncluttered - with a “relaxed and calm” environment in the inpatient unit.

Patients praised the catering offer, saying special dietary requirements were looked after and meals had even been cooked for visitors.

Mr Duff said: “The inspection was in August and we are confident that if the inspectors were to return they would see the continual improvements to practice that we have made.

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“We are entirely confident that we have a high quality and safe service for all our patients and families. 

“We are pleased that the report highlighted that our services were much-loved by our patients and their families.”

He added: “We will continue to work with our partners, such as NHS Rotherham Clinical Commissioning Group and other hospices, to identify best practice.”

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