Shock as St Joseph’s Hos­pice placed in spe­cial mea­sures

Midweek Visiter - - Front Page - BY JOE THOMAS joe.thomas@trin­i­tymir­ror.com @Visiter

THE old­est hos­pice in Mersey­side has been placed in spe­cial mea­sures af­ter a care watch­dog un­cov­ered se­ri­ous fail­ings.

St Joseph’s Hos­pice, in Ince Blun­dell – pre­vi­ously known by many as Jospice – has now been banned from ac­cept­ing any new pa­tients.

It fol­lows a visit by CQC in­spec­tors in July, which found the fa­cil­ity pro­vided nei­ther a safe nor ef­fec­tive service.

Of­fi­cials from the hos­pice said they were “dis­ap­pointed” by the find­ings.

But they added that they have re­cently over­hauled its op­er­a­tion in a bid to ad­dress con­cerns.

The in­spec­tion of the fa­cil­ity, which of­fers spe­cial­ist end-of-life care for up to 29 pa­tients at a time, re­vealed medicine was not al­ways ad­min­is­tered safely, ac­cu­rate care records were not al­ways main­tained and there were cases where pa­tients’ pri­vacy and dig­nity were not re­spected.

Prob­lems in­cluded a feed­ing sys­tem be­ing used to prop open a fire door and fail­ures to pro­vide medicine as it had been pre­scribed.

Other prob­lems high­lighted in­cluded:

Con­cerns around the way some medicines were given and recorded, which placed peo­ple at “high risk of harm”;

Staff not be­ing sup­ported through ap­praisals, su­per­vi­sion and the hos­pice’s train­ing pro­gramme;

When pa­tients were un­able to con­sent to treat­ment, their men­tal health was not al­ways as­sessed – mean­ing the prin­ci­ples of the Men­tal Ca­pac­ity Act 2005 were not al­ways fol­lowed.

While care records were kept in a locked of­fice, staff some­times took them into com­mu­nal ar­eas where vis­i­tors could see con­fi­den­tial in­for­ma­tion.

And the friend of one pa­tient raised con­cerns they could see the ar­rival of the un­der­taker at the premises from their room – which they found “dis­tress­ing”.

While the CQC high­lighted fail­ings at the hos­pice, the cen­tre and its staff were praised by pa­tients.

The re­port said: “All of the peo­ple and rel­a­tives in­ter­viewed stated that staff were car­ing and kind.

“Sev­eral in­di­cated that the hos­pice was a very quiet, car­ing en­vi­ron­ment and that they had noth­ing but praise for the care that was given.”

The hos­pice had also re­ceived very pos­i­tive com­ments from rel­a­tives on the I Want Great Care web­site.

July’s in­spec­tion came af­ter two last year which led to the hos­pice be­ing iden­ti­fied as re­quir­ing im­prove­ment.

Re­spond­ing to the re­port, Jospice’s chair of trus­tees, Ge­orge Foster, said the hos­pice was now pro­vid­ing “a more pro­fes­sional, safer service than ever be­fore”.

This was, he said, be­cause of an over­haul of ser­vices de­signed to ad­dress con­cerns pre­vi­ously raised by the CQC.

Mr Foster said the changes were still be­ing made at the time of the last in­spec­tion.

He said: “In the past year, we have re­vised and im­proved our clin­i­cal gov­er­nance struc­ture and pro­cesses, im­ple­mented a new staff train­ing sys­tem and have been work­ing closely with our local Clin­i­cal Com­mis­sion­ing Group (CCG) and other clin­i­cal stake­hold­ers to ad­dress other long-stand­ing is­sues, and this process re­mains on track.

“St Joseph’s Hos­pice main­tains a con­sis­tent five star rat­ing from the na­tional pa­tient sur­vey, ‘I Want Great Care’ which is avail­able to view on­line.

“A clin­i­cal qual­ity visit took place last week, as part of an on­go­ing re­view to check the progress on qual­ity stan­dards.

“The feed­back was that im­prove­ments had been noted.

“Our pa­tients, fam­i­lies, staff and mem­bers of our com­mu­nity can be as­sured that the hos­pice is now pro­vid­ing a more pro­fes­sional, safer service than ever be­fore, but one which is as com­pas­sion­ate and car­ing as peo­ple have come to ex­pect.”

Ex­plain­ing its de­ci­sion to place the hos­pice in spe­cial mea­sures, the CQC said: “Over a pe­riod of three inspections, from July, 2016, we have found se­ri­ous fail­ings with medicine man­age­ment that have ex­posed peo­ple us­ing the ser­vices to risk of sig­nif­i­cant harm.”

The CQC’s Deputy Chief In­spec­tor for Adult So­cial Care, Deb­bie West­head, said: “Peo­ple are en­ti­tled to ser­vices pro­vid­ing safe, ef­fec­tive, re­spon­sive and high­qual­ity care.

“We found that St Joseph’s Hos­pice, al­though pro­vid­ing a highly-val­ued service, was fall­ing short of the stan­dards that are re­quired.

“It is a mat­ter of con­cern that, on three suc­ces­sive inspections, we have iden­ti­fied sig­nif­i­cant ar­eas for im­prove­ment.

“At this lat­est in­spec­tion in July, we found some of the same safety is­sues re­mained, but we also found fresh con­cerns.

“We have now taken ac­tion to en­sure there are no fur­ther ad­mis­sions un­til these mat­ters are dealt with prop­erly.

“A pe­riod in spe­cial mea­sures will al­low the hos­pice to seek the sup­port it needs to ad­dress our con­cerns and pro­tect the peo­ple in their care.

“We are work­ing closely with part­ners, in­clud­ing clin­i­cal com­mis­sion­ing groups, to en­sure peo­ple’s safety.”

The hos­pice, which was awarded the Free­dom of Liver­pool in 2013, will be re-in­spected in six months.

St Joseph’s Hos­pice – Jospice – in Ince Blun­dell, left and be­low, which has been banned from ac­cept­ing any new pa­tients by the Care Qual­ity Com­mis­sion, af­ter se­ri­ous fail­ings were dis­cov­ered in a se­ries of inspections

Im­prove­ments are on­go­ing – Jospice Chair of Trus­tees Ge­orge Foster

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