05:55PM, Monday 11 October 2021
Thames Hospice has received an ‘outstanding’ rating from the Care Quality Commission, with the service praised for helping patients ‘live every day to the fullest’.
The charity underwent a two-day inspection at its state-of-the-art facility near Bray Lake in August.
The visit covered the numerous services offered to help people with life-limiting conditions including the 28-bed inpatient unit, day therapy unit and the community palliative care team.
In a report, published today, inspectors said hospice staff treated patients and their families with ‘compassion and kindness’ while respecting their dignity and privacy.
Inspectors noted that ‘big and small acts of kindness’ played a key part in each person’s care.
This included arranging weddings, picking fresh flowers to put in a patient’s bedroom and holding their hand if they were scared.
In one instance, a patient was worried about who would look after their pets when they died and staff helped devise an action plan to assure they would be cared for.
“All staff, including volunteers, were aware of the importance of providing compassionate care and the impact their actions had on the patient and their families during this time of their lives,” the report said.
“Support was always given by caring and empathetic staff who put patients and their loved ones at the heart of everything they did.”
Thames Hospice chief executive Debbie Raven (centre) with staff at the opening of the new Thames Hospice headquarters in October 2020. Ref: 133079
The inspectors said staff went to great lengths to allow terminally ill residents to return home, whether that be for a visit as they approached end-of-life or to spend their final days.
A 24-hour telephone service is offered to give advice to the patients receiving end-of-life care and their families.
The report also found the hospice’s day therapy unit has supporting patients by empowering patients to manage their condition, maintain their independence and make new friendships.
The charity’s community palliative care team has also helped support an average of 431 people a month through home visits and telephone calls since the hospice’s new facility opened in October last year.
Inspectors said rigorous infection control measures are in place in the hospice and this was highlighted by the fact no healthcare acquired infections have been reported.
Thames Hospice chief executive Debbie Raven and her senior leadership team received praise for ensuring staff felt respected and supported.
The report added that volunteers were recognised as a vital part of the hospice team.
The charity’s CEO said: “I have always known that our care and teams were outstanding, but in the last 20 months we have really proven our commitment to the community we serve in the most challenging of times.
“Thames Hospice never shies away from taking on tough and difficult roles to help our NHS colleagues, like increasing our care at home provision and supporting patients with COVID-19 on our inpatient unit.
“We have continually adapted our services during the pandemic and managed to move to our new hospice right in the middle of it.
“Whether it’s changing our registration to admit 16-18 year olds or taking patients from further afield, we will do what it takes, so that our community always feels safe and supported.”
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