PERFORMANCE: The Care Quality Commission found the trust was meeting standards relating to dignity and nutrition, but minor concerns were noted on 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 – Aske ward, care of older people, and Graham ward, stroke rehabilitation – at Homerton University Hospital on 16 March.

Inspectors – including a practising nurse – observed how people were being cared for, talked with five patients, talked with eight 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 Homerton University Hospital had passed both of the essential standards of quality and safety the CQC reviewed, but there was room for improvement on nutrition.

In its report, the regulator said: “Homerton University Hospital recognised and supported people’s individual needs, independence and cultural preferences.

“People and their families were involved in decisions about their care. People’s views were sought about the service more generally although staff could not always explain what improvements had been made as a result.

“We observed some instances when staff could did not fully respect patients’ dignity, for example, by not talking to patients when checking bedside charts, but these were the exception.”

It added: “The trust provided people with information about meals and people were usually but not always offered choices. The people we spoke to were generally positive about the food.

“The trust was not fully promoting people’s independence in relation to choosing food, eating and drinking. On one of the wards we visited, some people could not start their lunch until around 1:30pm because there was limited capacity to heat meals on the ward.”

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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