Hospice is hailed by inspectors

: Former chief executive Margaret Dunbar outside the �26m facility. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

: Former chief executive Margaret Dunbar outside the �26m facility. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

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ST Columba’s Hospice has been given a glowing report in its first inspection since a 
£26 million revamp.

The Trinity-based hospice decamped temporarily to Kirklands House in Gogarburn in February 2012 for a massive demolition and rebuild to begin, almost entirely paid for by fundraisers and donors.

The new state-of-the-art facility opened in May and the unannounced inspection took place just three months later.

Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) inspectors praised the “very high standard of care, treatment and support” given to patients and relatives and gave the newbuild its highest rating of “excellent”.

The health watchdog found a “dedicated and caring team of staff who are focused on providing care and comfort to all patients and relatives”.

It commended the level of patient involvement in care, with those asked stating that they felt fully involved in decisions made about their needs.

Weekly meetings are held to review important information, such as advance care plans and resuscitation decisions, which showed patients were being consulted regularly, with their care wishes properly recorded.

In the report, one patient said: “They have been very attentive to my needs, making me comfortable with respect to pain and food.”

Another said they were “treated like family” and that “staff and doctors are always there for me”.

Dot Partington, director of clinical services at the hospice, said she was “extremely encouraged” by the feedback.

“At the time of the inspection we had only been back in our new hospice building for three months and the feedback and comments from HIS were extremely helpful,” she said. “It is a great morale boost for staff to hear the positive comments regarding both the care they received and the environment in which our care is delivered.”

Evening News readers raised £370,000 for the 2009 Buy a Brick campaign, donating cash in return for the chance to dedicate a brick to a loved one.

The only recommendation by HIS was that a participation strategy be put in place to formalise engagement with patients and families, and that a system be developed to more clearly identify training needs.

Chief inspector Susan Brimelow said: “We found a dedicated and caring team of staff who were focused on providing a very high standard of care and treatment.”

It comes after Marie Curie Hospice in Fairmilehead was criticised by inspectors last month. Yesterday in the News, Liz Watson accused its medics of robbing her of her final days with her terminally ill husband after they let him die under the controversial Liverpool Care Pathway.

kate.pickles@edinburghnews.com