A WEST Cumbrian hospice has been told it 'requires improvement' following an inspection by the health watchdog.

Hospice at Home West Cumbria, based at Workington Community Hospital on Park Lane, was inspected by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in November, with the watchdog finding that the charity requires improvement in two specific areas - as well as overall.

The charity has been operating for 36 years and delivers end-of-life nursing care, family and bereavement support and specialist lymphoedema services. During this time, it has been rated by the CQC as ‘Good’, earning a strong reputation across west Cumbria.

In its recent inspection report published on December 29, the charity maintained this rating in areas of the report titled 'effective', 'caring' and 'responsive'.

This, the charity says, is testament to ‘the hard work and dedication of our team, hardworking staff and volunteers who deliver high-quality and compassionate care to end of life patients and their families’.

But the charity was rated ‘Requires Improvement’ in two areas of inspection: safe and well led.

"The provider did not clearly define mandated training, including levels of safeguarding training required by job role," the CQC report said.

It added that not all staff completed mandatory training in accordance with the charity's compliance rate; not all staff received 'appropriate levels of safeguarding training'; and the charity did not ensure all staff - including but not limited to trustees and volunteer reception staff - had barring and disclosure (DBS) checks in place.

"The provider did not always ensure staff were competent for their roles," the report added.

However, the CQC found that provider had enough staff to care for patients and keep them safe from harm and abuse, and that staff managed medicines well.

Hospice at Home West Cumbria have said that the recommendations in the report have been immediately implemented, and the positive steps taken to swiftly respond have all been recognised and acknowledged within the CQC report.

The organisation said: “Whilst we are delighted that we have retained a rating of ‘Good’ in three major areas of inspection, we are disappointed to learn that because there have been recommendations, our overall rating being changed to ‘Requires Improvement.’”

Julie Monk, CEO said, “We welcome the feedback from the CQC and have immediately implemented their recommendations.

"We will continue to deliver excellent services, working in an environment of pressures on health services and cost of living issues, and see this as an opportunity to improve and move forward.

“During the visit the CQC inspectors spoke to staff, volunteers, patients, and family members and received many compliments on the care and support provided.

"We are particularly proud of comments describing the way staff empowered patients to have a voice about their care and treatment and all staff they spoke with described an open culture and said they enjoyed coming to work and worked well as a team.”