A HOSPICE for children and young people has made improvements after being rated as inadequate last year.

However, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) says more needs to be done to improve the care provided at Butterwick House, in Stockton.

The hospice, run was Butterwick Limited, which was rated inadequate last year, was reinspected in February.

The facility, which cares for children and young people from Stockton, Middlesbrough and surrounding areas, was rated as ‘requires improvement’ for being safe and well-led, and as ‘good’ for being effecting, responsive and caring.

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Inspectors highlighted that patients were treated with kindness and compassion and that feedback from families was overwhelmingly positive.

Sarah Dronsfield, CQC’s head of hospital inspection, said: “I am pleased leaders at Butterwick House have improved their management of the service since we last inspected in September.

“Issues we identified on the previous inspection led us to restricting it to caring for only two children at one time, to allow it to focus on making improvements and ensuring patient safety.

“Senior leaders responded by putting an action plan together to address our concerns and, although there is still more work to be done to ensure the improvements are sustained and fully embedded, they are making good progress.

“We heard staff treated patients and their families with kindness and compassion and respected their privacy and dignity. They even went out of their way to provide emotional support to siblings of children receiving care at the hospice.

“When one of the managers received a phone call from a family late at night after their child died at home, they went to visit the family to provide comfort and practical support.

“Feedback from friends and family about the care given to their child was overwhelmingly positive, with some describing staff as being just like family.

“The service has demonstrated a commitment to continuous improvement, and we continue to monitor the service to ensure improvements are made and fully embedded.” 

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A spokesperson for the hospice said they were “delighted” that hard work and teamwork had resulted in an improvement to its rating and said it would work with the CQC to make further changes.

Paul Bury, Chair of Butterwick Hospice Care added “As a small charity we are committed to further improving our services as we understand how important our care is for children and their families in our area.

“Overall, I am delighted that all our hard work and level of care has been acknowledged.”

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CQC found the following:

  • Managers monitored the effectiveness of the service and measured patient outcomes. Staff worked well together for the benefit of patients, supported them to make decisions about their care, and had access to good information.
  • Staff had training in key skills, understood how to protect patients from abuse, and managed safety well.
  • Staff assessed risks to patients, acted on them and kept good care records. The service controlled infection risk well and managed medicines well.
  • Staff provided good care and treatment, gave patients enough to eat and drink, and gave them pain relief when they needed it.
  • Staff treated patients with compassion and kindness, respected their privacy and dignity, took account of their individual needs, and helped them understand their conditions. They provided emotional support to patients, families and carers.
  • Staff felt respected, supported and valued. They were focused on the needs of patients receiving care. Staff were clear about their roles and accountabilities. The service engaged well with patients and all staff were committed to improving services continually.


  • Mandatory training had not been completed by all staff and not all staff had had an appraisal at the time of inspection.
  • There were no Fit and Proper Person checks undertaken for the five hospice trustees.
  • The service had started to engage with the community to plan and manage services, but these relationships needed to grow and establish.

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