We've received two ‘Exceptional’ grading awards and one ‘Good’ award following an unannounced inspection by Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) in February 2024.

This ‘Exceptional’ award was for the strategic direction of services, with inspectors praising the Hospice for having a clear vision and purpose, highlighting that staff felt valued and supported.

As well as for the implementation and delivery of care, how we, as a local Hospice, engages with stakeholders and manages performance and for our education and training programme for external healthcare professionals. The grading also praised our expanding services to more patients in the community at an earlier stage in their illness.

The HIS report commended our Hospice five-year strategic plan and that staff have effective procedures helping support the safe delivery of care. Inspectors praised the training and support provided to staff and volunteers and noted that staff and patients were given an opportunity to contribute to improving the service.

A ‘Good’ rating was awarded for demonstrating that the Hospice provides safe, person centred care.

The report noted: “Staff working in the service were very positive about their experience and felt supported and valued. A thorough process was in place for recording the patient’s journey while in the care of the hospice. Patients and families told us the care they received was ‘first class’.”

The grading announcement coincides with Demystifying Death Week (6-12 May) across Scotland which shines a light on death, dying and bereavement.

Irene McKie, Strathcarron Hospice Chief Executive, said: “We are delighted to receive these ‘Exceptional’ and ‘Good’ grading awards from Health Improvement Scotland which are testament to the exemplary work that our staff and volunteers carry out each day.

“This report highlights that our staff are enthusiastic and proud of the work they do and patients and families described the service they have received as “first class” which is what we strive for every day.

“This shows the incredible compassion and professionalism of our skilled team. They build meaningful relationships at the worst times in the lives of the people and their loved ones that they’re caring for, allowing patients to be supported to live well and die well.”

Care and services right across our communities and within the 24 bedded ward within the Hospice are provided by 243 staff with support from hundreds of volunteers who contributed over 30,000 hours of volunteering during 2022-23.

Comments from staff surveyed by HIS included:

“Staff are encouraged to grow and develop in the organisation.”

“We work to the highest of standards and provide an absolutely amazing service to our patients we all go above and beyond for our patients and families.”

“I am always excited to come to work as I love that there are no two days the same. There is always a new challenge.”

“People who work here are motivated and positive and visibly support each other and want to do the best job that they can.”

Strathcarron Hospice provides essential services for patients with life-limiting conditions (including end-of-life care) for patients living in Forth Valley and Cumbernauld and Kilsyth in North Lanarkshire.

In 2022-23 the Hospice provided care for 323 patients in our 24 patient bedded unit, supported 357 Hospice at Home patients including 3286 visits, carried out 6435 Community Nurse Specialists visits to 1109 new patients and made 8142 clinical calls.

The Hospice has to raise £16,637 daily to provide the specialist end of life care and services to individuals and their families across its communities.