Recognition of the highest level for Willowbrook Hospice

Building on the fantastic news that Clinical Director, Mrs Chris Haywood, was awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours, there is even more good news for St Helens and Knowsley. Staff and volunteers at Willowbrook Hospice have receiving an ‘Outstanding’ rating from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) – the independent regulator of health and social care services in England.

Under the new CQC inspection regime, hospices are also subject to the same level of scrutiny as hospitals, making this Outstanding rating incredibly special. In fact, Willowbrook is the only Hospice in Cheshire and Merseyside to receive this fantastic rating.

Publishing the full report on its website this week, the CQC praised all the Willowbrook team for their compassion in supporting people’s emotional and physical needs. The Hospice team of staff and volunteers, who support palliative and end of life care to patients across St Helens and Knowsley, were also praised for the clear passion in delivering ‘individualised, safe care to patients living with complex symptoms and  life-limiting conditions’. Inspectors highlighted how the staff celebrated an ‘inclusive culture and engagement with patients, carers and the wider community.”

Alan Chick, Chair of Trustees at Willowbrook Hospice, said: “I am thrilled that Willowbrook has been found to be outstanding by the CQC. It is recognition of the impact of all our staff and volunteers across the Hospice and the Trading Company resulting from their hard work, commitment and dedication as a member of the Willowbrook family. We know that our staff and volunteers deliver outstanding care every day and to have this acknowledged by the CQC is excellent and a very exciting start to 2020!

On behalf of our Executive Management Team and the Board of Trustees, I would like to say a massive thank you and congratulations to each and every member of our Willowbrook family.”

Helping more than 1,000 patients and their families and friends each year manage the challenges of living with a terminal illness, Willowbrook staff and volunteers were also commended by the CQC for their high level of motivation in meeting patients’ individual needs with some of the patient stories involving hot tubs and therapy dogs, with the Hospice being noted for ‘Going the extra mile’!

The Executive Management Team commented: “To all our loyal supporters – without whom this would not have been possible, whether you generously give your time, money or skills to Willowbrook we hope that you will continue to help us to provide this much-needed outstanding care in the future. Every year, we continue to raise over £3m to supplement our NHS/CCG grant in order to deliver all our services.

We are outstanding because you’re outstanding. Thank you!”

The full Willowbrook inspection report will be published on the CQC website at