PERFORMANCE: The Care Quality Commission found the trust was meeting standards relating to dignity and nutrition, but minor concerns were noted on dignity, 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 wards at the trust’s St Mary’s Hospital on 23 March.

Inspectors – including a practising nurse – observed how people were being cared for, talked with six patients, talked with six 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 St Mary’s Hospital had passed both of the essential standards of quality and safety the CQC reviewed, but noted improvements could made on patient dignity.

In its report, the regulator said: “On the basis of the evidence provided and observed, there was a minor concern with this outcome.

“There was evidence that patients were receiving individualised care in practice however; in order to maintain compliance, they need to ensure that all patients have documented individualised assessments and plans of care that reflect their needs, choices and preferences.

“Although patients reported they generally received assistance in a timely manner, we observed that call bells were not always easily accessible.”

But on nutrition it added: “Overall the patients we spoke to on our visit felt they had a good choice of enough food and they received help when they needed it.

“Staff did not always complete the relevant risk assessments although it was evident in practice that patients were receiving the support they needed.”

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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