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 during an inspection of two wards – the acute stroke ward and number six, an elderly care ward – at the trust’s Wexham Park Hospital on 17 March.

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 Wexham Park Hospital was meeting both essential standards.

In its report, the regulator said: “The trust has ensured that staff have been provided with training in relation to dignity and respect and that staff have the necessary skills and experience to promote the wellbeing of patients through appropriate and effective communications.

“There are sufficient resources available to enable staff to make consideration of the individual needs of people using the services and to plan their treatment and care in dignified and respectful manner.

“We found that there are parts of record keeping that indicate that personal preferences had not been noted. The trust put in place an immediate action plan to address this.”

It added: “We found that the trust has provided staff with the necessary skills and awareness to enable them to assess and monitor the nutritional and hydration requirements of people using the services. Staff actively encourage and support patients to eat and drink or to receive alternative methods of nutritional support.

“A system is in place for identifying those who require close monitoring. There is provision of nutritionally balanced food with choice and variety that meets the range of cultural and diverse needs.”

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.