'Impressive' Lancashire children's hospice celebrates outstanding rating from health watchdog

Staff at Derian House Childrens Hospice celebrate winning an outstanding rating from the Care Quality Commission
Staff at Derian House Childrens Hospice celebrate winning an outstanding rating from the Care Quality Commission
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A Lancashire hospice which cares for sick children is celebrating after winning an ‘outstanding’ rating.

Derian House Children’s Hospice in Chorley – which boasts its own cinema, holiday lodges and a therapy dog – was praised by Care Quality Commission (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, says it 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.

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.

“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.”

Derian House has been looking after seriously ill children for 26 years, and the hospice building has just undergone a £1.6million refurbishment.

It costs £4.8million to run services at Derian House every year and yet less than seven per cent of this comes from the government. For 93p in every pound needed, the charity relies on the generosity of its supporters. Find out more about the charity’s work at www.derianhouse.co.uk or Facebook: www.facebook.com/derianhouse