A NORTH East hospice has been rated 'inadequate' again after a Care Quality Commission (CQC) report.

The end of life hospice was rated 'inadequate' again by the CQC after they said 'improvements made since our last inspection did not yet justify a higher rating'.

The Butterwick Hospice in Stockton was inspected between May 4 and 6, with the report being published last week.

The Butterwick House part of the hospice provides round the clock care for babies, children, teenagers, young adults and their families.

There is also a hospice in Bishop Auckland and Sedgefield.

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Butterwick House was rated 'Inadquate' in the following areas: safe, effective, responsive and well-led and 'Good' for care.

Within the report it said: "Staff did not always receive the correct level of training on how to recognise and report abuse but they knew how to apply it. Staff did not always complete and update risk assessments for each patient and remove or minimise risks.

"Staff did not always identify and quickly act upon patients at risk of deterioration. Staff did not always keep detailed records of patients’ care and treatment. Records were not always clear, up to date, stored securely and easily available to all staff providing care.

"The service did not always use systems and processes to safely prescribe, administer, record and store medicines.

"Staff did not monitor the effectiveness of care and treatment. They did not use the findings to make improvements and achieved good outcomes for patients."

However, the report stated that there were enough 'staff for patients and to keep them safe.'

It stated: "The service controlled infection risk well. The design, maintenance and use of facilities, premises and equipment kept people safe."

In response the Hospice said: “While the overall conclusion is naturally disappointing, it is heartening that the CQC fully recognised that we had controlled the infection risk well during the pandemic, which was clearly our immediate priority. It also appreciated the passion of the staff in striving to deliver effective services, whilst acknowledging that we are undergoing a period of significant change in the organisation.

"That said, it is clearly important that we respect these findings and redouble our efforts to provide the best possible services for patients and families.

"Based on initial feedback from an inspection in November 2019, which was published in full in March 2020, we were confident of reaching the revised CQC expectations, which had brought us in line with hospital standards.

"We were working closely with the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and North Tees Hartlepool Foundation Trust to establish a robust plan of action to make the necessary improvements, and we had also just agreed a new business plan to take the charity forward.

"The Covid-19 pandemic impacted significantly on us as both a healthcare provider and a charity and, like every other organisation, we had to swiftly adapt our working practices to ensure we kept patients, visitors, volunteers, and staff safe."

Debbie Jones, Chief Executive of the hospice, said: “A detailed plan of action is in place which has been shared with the CQC; a substantial investment is being made in technology to ensure quality assurance and evidence is built into all clinical processes; and additional human resources have also been brought in.

“Hopefully, there are better times ahead with the easing of restrictions by the Government, and we welcome the opportunity to work with the CQC and other professional healthcare bodies to move forward.”

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