The hospice that provides palliative and end of life care for people in St Neots and Huntingdon has been given the top rating by a health watchdog.

The Sue Ryder St John's Hospice in Moggerhanger, has been rated as 'outstanding' by the Care Quality Commission.

The regulator of health and social care services awarded the rating following an inspection of the hospice's palliative care services in September and October - including its inpatient unit, palliative care hub which provides support for people in their own homes, day services and family support team.

In its report, the CQC highlighted how staff treated patients and their families with compassion and kindness, respected their dignity and privacy and went above and beyond expectations to meet individual needs and wishes.

It also noted how hospice staff were "devoted to doing all they could to support the emotional needs of patients, families and carers and helped patients live every day to the fullest".

Inspectors rated the hospice as 'outstanding' when it came to being caring; being responsive to people's needs; being well led and the hospice was rated as 'Good' for being safe and effective.

Inspectors said, "Services were delivered in a way to ensure flexibility, choice and continuity of care" and "planned and provided care in a way that fully met the needs of local people and the communities serviced, working proactively with others to plan care and improve services."

Allison Mann, interim hospice director at Sue Ryder St John's Hospice, said: "This brilliant result is thanks to the commitment and hard work of our expert clinical teams and passionate hospice staff and volunteers, who do all they can to be there when it matters for local families.

"We want our 'outstanding' rating to reassure people with a terminal illness that they will receive the highest quality expert and compassionate care at Sue Ryder St John's Hospice.

"I would like to thank all of the staff and volunteers for their continued hard work."

Chelsea Zwetsloot, from St Neots, has first-hand experience of the care given at the Sue Ryder hospice. Her grandfather was cared for in the inpatient unit.

She said: "The week my grandfather was there, he was as well looked after as we could have asked for, and the support my nan received when she was there with him was incredible. The care given at the hospice made such a difference to us."