PERFORMANCE: The Care Quality Commission found the trust was meeting standards relating to dignity and nutrition, but noted minor concerns on the latter, 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 – a general ward for older persons and a stroke unit – at the trust’s Southmead Hospital on 9 May.

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 Southmead Hospital had passed both of the essential standards of quality and safety the CQC reviewed, but it did note minor concerns on nutrition.

In its report, the regulator said: “Most patients were very positive about their experiences of care and treatment at Southmead Hospital. People were treated in a dignified manner ensuring that their privacy was respected.

“The trust had clear and effective staff development and performance management systems that supported listening to and learning from the experience of patients.”

It added: “The trust has systems in place to ensure that people’s nutritional needs are being addressed. However these were not being put into practice consistently within the wards visited which means that people could be at risk of malnutrition.

“Overall, we found that Southmead Hospital was meeting this essential standard but, to maintain this, we suggested that some improvements were made.”

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.