Marie Curie

Recent tragic events in Paris highlight the dangers of dysfunctional theological thinking. Jesus taught us to provide a service for others but he did not tell us exactly how to do this. We must therefore seek out examples of high quality services and learn from them. With this principle in mind I recently visited a Marie Curie Hospice in London.
Marie Curie has 85 years of experience in nursing palliative care patients. Their first hospital, which opened in 1930, treated women with cancer. That hospital was destroyed by bombing in 1944 but subsequently the Marie Curie Cancer Care has developed nursing services and hospices for terminally ill people and their families all over the UK. Marie Curie now provided care and support for more than 40,000 terminally ill people and their families each year and is one of the leading funders of research in this area.
The hospice which I visited is a modern four story building with 34 beds on two floors. Patients are admitted for four possible reasons; assessment, symptom control, respite or terminal care. There is one outreach clinic per week and 6 community teams who, with the general practitioners, care for people at home.
On the day of my visit the hospice was undergoing a three day internal quality inspection by 12 inspectors. Groups of inspectors tackled the five different Care Quality Commission (CQC) principles: Is the service safe, caring, effective, well led and patient centred?
We can provide high quality services by working together.

Peter Coates, Kings Lynn Roman Catholics

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