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Hospices across England are consistently providing a higher standard of care than any other sector of medical care services.

That’s the finding of a new report from the Care Quality Commission (CQC), which found hospices have the highest percentage of services rated as ‘outstanding’.

Entitled “The State of Hospice Services in England, 2014 to 2017”, the report paints a glowing picture of the high standards of dedicated care provided by hospices across the country, most of which are largely self-funded. It found that 25% of hospices (51 services) are rated as Outstanding, with a further 70% (142 services) being rated as Good. This compares to around 6% of NHS acute hospitals, 4% of GP services and 2% of domiciliary care agencies, nursing homes and residential homes being rated Outstanding.

In particular, inspectors found that hospice leaders and frontline staff displayed a strong commitment to providing truly person-centred, compassionate care and support to people using their services, as well as developing strong relationships with other services in the area. Hospice services rated Outstanding were also striving to share their expertise to drive better care in other services, and to ensure that high-quality end of life care is available to everyone, regardless of background or circumstances.

While there are only 217 hospice services registered with CQC in England, hospices across the UK care for around 200,000 people a year with terminal and life-limiting conditions. This care can be within hospices or in the community, while hospices also extend care and support to their patients’ families, as well as offering bereavement support to a further 40,000 people.

Andrea Sutcliffe, the CQC’s Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care, said: “People often access hospice care at a time when their complicated health and social care needs have to be met alongside compassionate emotional support. This is not a simple thing to do.

“It was clear from our inspections that the vast majority of hospices have the needs of people and their families at the centre of their work. It is particularly encouraging to see services committed to continuing improvement reach out to groups they had little contact with in the past to understand the obstacles they have faced and how they can support them better now and in the future.

“To see dedicated staff have such careful consideration of the whole person and their needs was a privilege for inspectors and something I would encourage other services to learn from.”

Jonathan Ellis, from national hospice and palliative care charity Hospice UK, said: “We are delighted that more than nine in ten hospices have been rated good or outstanding by the Care Quality Commission, highlighting the remarkably high standard of care they provide. It reflects the expertise, passion and commitment of hospice staff and volunteers and the strong leadership and positive work culture within the sector.

“With its holistic, highly caring approach, hospice care can be transformative for dying people and their families, however we know there is no room for complacency and delivering good or outstanding care is an ongoing process.”

Acorn Stairlifts is proud to support and work closely with a number of hospices. Close to our headquarters in Steeton, West Yorkshire, we have supported our local Sue Ryder Manorlands Hospice (pictured above) for several years, raising around £80,000 through regular fundraising initiatives. We have also donated stairlifts to Manorlands patients, allowing them to remain receiving hospice care at home.

Since 2015 we have also worked in partnership with national charity Marie Curie, which runs a network of UK hospices. Under the partnership we donate up to 60 stairlifts per year for Marie Curie patients, allowing them to stay at home if they wish, and at the same time easing pressure on beds within Marie Curie hospices. We have also donated two wheelchair accessible vehicles, one to Manorlands and another to Marie Curie’s West Midlands hospice. Driven by volunteers, these vehicles allow wheelchair-reliant patients to access a range of hospice-based day care services which they might otherwise miss out on.

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