PERFORMANCE: The Care Quality Commission said the foundation trust passed both of the standards relating to dignity and nutrition 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 – Ward 6, a complex care and short stay unit, and Ward 7, a gastroenterology ward – at the trust’s Huddersfield Royal Infirmary on 7 April.

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 that overall the Huddersfield Royal Infirmary was meeting both essential standards.

In its report, the regulator said: “People’s privacy, dignity and human rights are respected and their diversity needs are understood. Staff actively consult with and involve people who use the service in planning their treatment and support.

“People are involved and listened to by staff and requests made about their care are acted upon. Most staff are aware of the agenda for equality, diversity and human rights.”

It added: “Peoples nutritional and hydration needs and medical dietary requirements are assessed in their plan of care. People are offered a choice of food and drink and food is generally presented in an appetising manner. Support is offered to people when eating and drinking.”

But it also said: “The process for serving meals is unstructured and poorly organised, which can lead to delays in people receiving their meals, insufficient time for people to enjoy their meals and interruptions during meal times.”

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.

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