Barnsley Hospice rated inadequate and placed into special measures

Barnsley Hospice has been rated inadequate and placed in special measures after inspectors found a number of significant issues that risked patient safety.

Wednesday, 28th July 2021, 10:21 am

The Care Quality Commission carried out unannounced inspections in April and May after concerns were raised about the quality of care provided to patients.

Due to the issues found, the hospice has been issued with three warning notices relating to the safe care and treatment of patients, the capacity to safeguard patients from abuse and improper treatment and the overall management of the service.

Barnsley Hospice was rated ‘inadequate’ for being safe, responsive and well led.

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Barnsley Hospice

It ‘requires improvement’ for being effective and was rated ‘good’ for being caring.

Overall, it was rated as ‘inadequate’ and placed into special measures.

At its last inspection it was rated ‘good’ overall.

Sarah Dronsfield, CQC’s head of hospital inspection, said: “When we inspected Barnsley Hospice, we were not assured that patients were receiving the safe care and treatment they deserve.

“We were concerned to find that only serious incidents were investigated. Recurring incidents, such as falls, were not prevented, or the risk reduced, because staff did not fully investigate them.

“We found that processes for sharing important information were unclear and did not ensure that staff learnt from incidents that took place.

“We found that leaders did not ensure that staff kept up to date with all necessary training to keep patients safe.

“Patients had to wait an unacceptable amount of time to access the service. Also, leaders did not explore how the service could meet the wider needs of the local population or understand how to promote inclusion.”

She added: “We have issued three warning notices to Barnsley Hospice to help provide focus upon the areas where improvements must be made. We will continue to monitor the service closely and return in the next six months to check on progress.

“The safe care and treatment of people using services is our highest priority and they deserve safe, effective high-quality care. We will always take action where appropriate to protect the health and safety of patients.”

Inspectors found staff did not have training in key skills, did not understand how to protect patients from abuse and did not manage safety well.

The service did not always control infection risk well. Staff assessed risks to patients and acted on them but did not always keep good care records. They did not always manage medicines well and records were not clear or complete.

Inspectors found that when things went wrong staff did not apologise or give patients honest information or suitable support.

They also found that people could not always access the service when they needed it and had to wait for treatment.

They stated that staff provided good care and treatment, gave patients enough to eat and drink and gave them pain relief when needed.

Their report said staff treated patients with compassion and kindness, respected their privacy and dignity, took account of their individual needs and helped them understand their conditions.

Julie Ferry, chief executive of Barnsley Hospice, said: “We accept the findings of the CQC report and are extremely concerned and disappointed about the shortcomings identified. We have already started taking robust action to address the issues raised.

“There are some positives in the report, particularly around our caring, which is rated as good. However, we have fallen far short in other areas.

“We’d like to apologise to the people of Barnsley who we feel we have let down.

“It has been a very challenging 18 months for us, as it has for many organisations and individuals, but that is not an excuse. We will be redoubling our efforts to provide the best care and support possible for patients and families in their time of need.”