A CHILDREN’S hospice which boasts its own cinema, holiday lodges and a therapy dog has been given an Outstanding CQC rating.
Derian House Children’s Hospice in Chorley, Lancashire, was praised by CQC inspectors for “putting children, young people and their families’ needs at the heart of all services.”
The charity, which also offers free massages for tired and stressed-out parents and takes siblings of sick children on fun days out, prides itself on helping children with life-limiting illnesses make the most of every moment.
It looks after 400 seriously ill children and young people from pre-birth to 26-years-old, from across the North West of England.
Lynn Grayson, Clinical Director at Derian House, said: “We are thrilled to receive our first-ever overall Outstanding rating. It is a testament to the dedication and hard work of all of our staff and volunteers here at Derian House who go above and beyond every day to deliver the very best care.
“There can be a misconception that a children’s hospice is a sad place, but although we do have sad times here at Derian House, we work really hard to ensure our children and young people don’t miss out on the fun and can make happy memories.
“We’re so pleased that the inspector could see what everyone who comes through our doors comments upon – that Derian House is a special place, doing important work at an incredibly difficult time for families.”
Findings of the unannounced three-day inspection carried out in September and October, 2019, reported leaders at the hospice were “committed and passionate” and that the service “had an imaginative and child-centred vision”.
Families can experience the magic of the big screen at the hospice’s commercial-quality cinema room – even enjoying hotdogs and popcorn for an authentic experience.
A free week’s holiday at one of the charity’s holiday lodges at Ribby Hall Holiday Village near the seaside resort of Blackpool is available to all families.
And Pets as Therapy dog Shuna brings smiles when she visits every week for cuddles.
Other services and areas praised as “outstanding practice” included:
Splash sessions to give families chance to use the heated hydrotherapy pool for weekend fun.
Free bereavement counselling and support groups not only for parents, but for siblings and grandparents too.
Fun trips out for brothers and sisters of children looked after by the hospice.
Massages for tired stressed-out parents and grandparents.
The hospice made history in 2018 becoming the first hospice to tackle the national nursing shortage by launching its own scholarship scheme that sees a new nurse recruited every year.
Judith Connor, CQC Head of Hospital Inspection, said: “It is always great to see a service achieve an Outstanding rating, but it is impressive when one improves as much as this one has. They clearly took on board our previous findings and have worked hard to provide the best possible care and support.
“We found that people and their families were at the centre of everything the service did, support was always provided by passionate, caring and empathetic staff who worked to meet people’s individual needs. There was a holistic approach to the support provided and a deep understanding of people’s emotional needs, so distress could be minimised. Leaders were committed to ensuring a high-quality care culture and acted on their vision for child-centred care. Staff were supported to develop in their roles and valued as a key part of the service.
“We also found the service using innovative practises to support people in the community and responded quickly to people’s changing needs. Feedback from people and their families was consistently positive and confirmed the caring and compassionate care we saw.
“This service has shown that sustainable improvements can be made and made well. Congratulations on achieving an Outstanding rating, well done.”
Derian House has been looking after seriously ill children for 26 years. A £1.6million refurbishment of the hospice building, completed this month, will ensure it can continue supporting families long into the future with new technology putting it at the very forefront of children’s palliative care.
David Robinson, Chief Executive at Derian House Children’s Hospice, said: “We are over the moon to have a CQC rating which we feel accurately reflects the wonderful work we do here at Derian House.
“We’ve worked really hard over the past 18 months to transform how we run the charity in the face of challenging times nationally for fundraising. We’ve added exciting new services for families, upgraded the building to make it fit for the future with a £1.6million refurbishment, and worked with our staff to ensure Derian is a great place to work and have your career.
“I’d like to thank all of our supporters whose generosity overwhelms us every single day and without whom, none of the work we do to help our children and their families would be possible.”
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of all health and social care services in England.
It costs £4.8million to run services at Derian House every year and yet less than 7 per cent of this comes from the government. For 93p in every pound needed, the charity relies on the generosity of its supporters.