PERFORMANCE: The Care Quality Commission said the foundation trust passed both of the standards relating to dignity and nutrition it inspected during a spot check as part of a wider investigation into how older patients are treated.

The regulator checked two “essential standards” of care at the trust’s University Hospital Aintree on 22 March.

Inspectors observed how people were being cared for across two wards in the elderly care unit, talked with 12 patients, talked with staff, and checked records.

The standards assessed were:

  • People should be treated with respect, involved in discussions about their care and treatment and able to influence how the service is run
  • Food and drink should meet people’s individual dietary needs

It concluded that overall the University Hospital Aintree was meeting both essential standards.

In its report, the regulator said: “Many patients and relatives were complimentary about the care given by staff across both wards visited. All patients interviewed reported that their privacy and dignity was maintained whilst they stayed in hospital and they felt involved in the decisions that were made for them.

“The trust provided documentary evidence after the visit to show that systems are in place for monitoring compliance with this outcome.”

It added: “Many patients confirmed that they were adequately supported with their nutritional and hydration needs. Most patients said that they were given choices of food and drink, they said that if required staff would support them to make these choices.

“There was mixed reviews for the quality of the food, some reported that it was too much for them, too hot or just what they had wanted.

“The trust has recently implemented a new nutritional screening process using the Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool (MUST), this is a screening tool to identify adults who are malnourished, at risk of malnutrition or obese. All staff had received training on how to use the tool.”

The regulator visited 100 hospitals as part of its programme of inspections on older patients’ treatment and is currently publishing them in batches, of which this is the fourth.