HOSPICE bosses are celebrating after a health watchdog deemed their services “outstanding” once again.

Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) handed St Helena Hospice the highest overall rating after its first inspection in more than seven years, new records reveal.

The hospice in Barncroft Close, Colchester, provides an outstanding level of care and responsiveness, the CQC said, with inspectors deeming its safety, effectiveness, and leadership “good”.

Summarising its findings, a CQC report says: “Throughout the assessment, we received positive comments and feedback from people who used the service, relatives, staff, and health professionals.

“All patients felt safe, well cared for, and knew who to contact should they need to. They reported they were involved in the planning of their care and were kept informed of what would happen next.”

Gazette: Team - senior staff nurse Rachel Hill and clinical nurse specialist Ross ChirgwinTeam - senior staff nurse Rachel Hill and clinical nurse specialist Ross Chirgwin (Image: Supplied)

Patients, including one who said his experience had surpassed his expectations, praised the “approachable” and “phenomenal” staff.

“Patients told us they felt care was delivered by competent staff and were involved in decisions about their care,” the report adds.

“One patient reported since their admission, they were able to think clearly, sleep had improved and were eating better."


Some areas of a usual full inspection, like infection prevention and control, automatically retained their ratings from a previous inspection in 2016 as they were not re-assessed when inspectors visited earlier this year.

Last year, 345 people were cared for at the hospice’s inpatient unit, but the team supported more than 4,000 people in total through its other services including a 24/7 helpline and bereavement support services.

Gazette: Charity boss - St Helena chief executive Mark Jarman-HoweCharity boss - St Helena chief executive Mark Jarman-Howe (Image: Newsquest archive)

Chief executive Mark Jarman-Howe praised the charity’s staff and volunteers for their hard work.

He said: “I feel immensely proud to be part of St Helena and thank everyone involved for their continued commitment to helping people face incurable illness and bereavement.”

Jo Tonkin, director of nursing, added: “I would like to say thank you to everyone that in some way supports patients and families at St Helena Hospice.

“I am very proud to say our recent assessment resulted in an outstanding CQC rating and a glowing report that highlights some of the excellent work we do at St Helena.”