Oxfordshire children's hospice charity given a 'outstanding' rating by CQC inspectors
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The Oxford-based hospice has had its rating raised from 'good' to 'outstanding' following inspections that took place in July.
Considered to be the world's first children's hospice, Helen and Douglas House has been providing care for young people since 1982.
It has helped many families from Banbury with supportive stays, symptom management, end-of-life care, counselling, and bereavement services.
Roger James, CQC deputy director for the south, said: “When we inspected Helen and Douglas House, we found a service where staff were very knowledgeable about the children and young people they looked after. They knew how to support children, young people and their families in an individual, personalised way and this was reflected in the level of detail in people's care plans”.
“The service was leading the way nationally in educating third parties on the complex needs of paediatric palliative care. Leaders encouraged innovation and staff participation in research. We saw some staff were on numerous boards that led to the implementation of guidance and legislation and were members of national committees relating to the paediatric palliative care.
“This was supported by a skilled leadership team, who led by example to promote an open and person-centred culture. We saw numerous examples of staff going the extra mile, especially regarding make-a-wish requests. For example, staff arranged for llamas to be brought into the garden where a child or young person and their family were able to walk and feed them. Staff set up a fair ground including rides, in the grounds. Children’s television characters and presenters as well as famous footballers have also attended the site."
During the visit, inspectors found the service met the needs of all children and young people, and when things went wrong, staff documented incidents well, and the hospice learned from them to improve care in the future.
Roger added: “The team at Helen and Douglas House should be really proud of the care they’re providing. Other service providers should look at this report to see if there’s anything they can learn about supporting people during such a difficult time in their lives."