In the words of our founder, Mary Butterwick, “This place is all about love. Without the love of the community, it can’t exist.”
As a hospice we know life limiting illnesses are indiscriminate and have no boundaries of age, wealth, or lifestyle. You never know when they may impact on your life or those of a loved one, family member, or friend. Our role is to continue Mary’s vision, adapt to the changes of needs within the community and ensure we care for those who need us at their darkest times.
In the words of Carmel Thomason Author of’ A Life of Mary Butterwick’, “Mary’s story shows how the smallest of actions can make a difference for better or worse”.
Some feedback from our patients: –
“I call Butterwick house his second home, because he is cared for with love, care compassion and his needs are met by fully trained nursing staff, who treat him as an individual with life limiting problems.”
“In my hardest days, I’ve always known you would be there. It helps to keep me calm and reassured.”
“Everyone is so kind and thoughtful, and they’re very much focused on what you need. I get friendship and care from them – they’re like members of my family now.”
“When you walk into the Butterwick, you know that for one day you don’t have to worry about anything. It’s an amazing place.”
“The Butterwick is such an amazing charity and the care is out of this world. I can’t thank the staff and the volunteers enough for everything they do.”
We are only able to continue to provide our services thanks to the incredible loyal support of individuals, groups and businesses within our local community.
While the overall conclusion is naturally disappointing, it is heartening that the CQC fully recognised that we had controlled the infection risk well during the pandemic, which was clearly our immediate priority. It also appreciated the passion of the staff in striving to deliver effective services, whilst acknowledging that we are undergoing a period of significant change in the organisation.
That said, it is clearly important that we respect these findings and redouble our efforts to provide the best possible services for patients and families.
Based on initial feedback from an inspection in November 2019, which was published in full in March 2020, we were confident of reaching the revised CQC expectations, which had brought us in line with hospital standards.
We were working closely with the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and North Tees Hartlepool Foundation Trust to establish a robust plan of action to make the necessary improvements, and we had also just agreed a new business plan to take the charity forward.
The Covid-19 pandemic impacted significantly on us as both a healthcare provider and a charity and, like every other organisation, we had to swiftly adapt our working practices to ensure we kept patients, visitors, volunteers, and staff safe.
We unequivocally accept that there is an urgent need to address the areas identified by the CQC, but it is also important to place them in the context of the unprecedented challenges we faced. They included:
- Difficulties in securing adequate stocks of PPE.
- Maintaining compliance with fluid Government guidelines.
- Coping with significant revenue shortfalls due to our fundraising activities being drastically curtailed.
- Some clinical staff choosing to leave to directly support the NHS on the front line of the pandemic.
Debbie Jones, Chief Executive of the hospice, adds: “A detailed plan of action is in place which has been shared with the CQC; a substantial investment is being made in technology to ensure quality assurance and evidence is built into all clinical processes; and additional human resources have also been brought in. Hopefully, there are better times ahead with the easing of restrictions by the Government, and we welcome the opportunity to work with the CQC and other professional healthcare bodies to move forward.”