Letter: Care and compassion at heart of hospice care

PATIENTS and families can be totally confident the care they receive at Rotherham Hospice.

Care and compassion will always be of the highest quality and tailored to their personal needs, and feedback from patients and families has always been overwhelmingly positive.

In particular, people who have experienced our services speak very highly of the kindness and caring attitude of staff.

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Comments such as: “The care is second to none” and “Nothing is too much trouble for them” are received by my staff with great pride.

Patients’ and families’ first-hand accounts of their experiences with us are so very important and our hospice prides itself on being a centre of excellence in palliative care.

However, it is always difficult to balance the compassion and care the hospice’s teams excel in with the complex administrative and compliance requirements that all hospices must abide by.

We want to reassure the people of Rotherham that, following an overall positive and complimentary report by the health regulator, the Care Quality Commission, we have acted immediately to address two areas in which procedures needed to improve.

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Regulators found inconsistencies in the way some of our medicines are stored and reported a lack of personal detail in patient care plans.

We would like to give the reassurance that both of these issues have now been rectified and want to highlight the many positives in the report.

Among other praise, the CQC commended the team of “suitably skilled, competent and experienced employees” and also said: “Staff and volunteers we spoke with told us how proud they were to work at the hospice and how fulfilling their job was.”

In addition, we are using the report as an opportunity to go above and beyond in our care, and for “fresh thinking” in the way we record what we do for our patients.

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To make this happen, staff, volunteers, patients and families are already working together to revise our care plans to make them easy to understand and easy to use, as well as to ensure that they reflect the wishes of our patients and their families at all times.

This supportive group is also being asked to consider new ways for us to be able to enhance even further the service we give.

Rotherham Hospice provided 24-hour, seven day a week care to over 1,590 individual patients and their families last year and in this, our 20th anniversary year, we are seeking to do even more.

Meanwhile, we encourage patients and families to read the full CQC report via a link on the hospice website (www.rotherhamhospice.org) and to contact us for more information if they have any concerns to discuss.

Christopher Duff, chief executive of Rotherham Hospice

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