PERFORMANCE: The Care Quality Commission found the trust was meeting standards relating to dignity and nutrition, but also noted minor concerns, during a spot check as part of a wider investigation into how older patients are treated.

The regulator checked two “essential standards” of care during an inspection of two wards – B3 Complex Care Ward (female) and B4 Complex Care Ward (male) – at the trust’s Royal Bolton Hospital during the spring.

Inspectors – including a practising nurse – observed how people were being cared for, talked with 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 overall that the Royal Bolton Hospital had passed  both of the essential standards of quality and safety the CQC reviewed but, to maintain performance, it suggested some improvements were made.

In its report, the regulator said: “Patients were on the whole positive about their experiences of care and treatment. Patients confirmed that their privacy and dignity was maintained.

“Staff were knowledgeable about how to include the patients in the decisions around the daily routines of the wards and they showed a good understanding of privacy and dignity.

“However on occasion staff care practices did not always promote patients’ dignity.”

It added: “Patients told us they were satisfied with the choice and quality of food provided. Staff interviewed showed a good understanding of the importance of nutrition. Assistance was provided to patients at meal times, and in the main this was appropriate.

“Nutritional assessments and care planning records were not always fully completed and the recording of patients’ food and fluid intake were not completed properly.”

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.