PERFORMANCE: The Care Quality Commission said the specialist 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 at the trust’s Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre on 6 April.

Inspectors – including a practising nurse – observed how people were being cared for, talked with seven patients, talked with 10 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 Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre was meeting both essential standards.

In its report, the regulator said: “Patients were receiving good care, were being listened to, and had their privacy and dignity respected by staff who were knowledgeable about how to maintain this in practice.  

“The trust’s policy on single sex accommodation was reflected in practice on the wards. Staff were receiving training on patient care, privacy and dignity and were supported by a number of hospital wide services which assisted them in communicating with patients and gaining patient feedback.

“We found patient records were consistently well completed and reflected patient preference, choice, and consent.”

It added: “Patients were provided with a good choice of nutritionally balanced food and adequate portion sizes. Their food was hot and well presented.

“The hospital implemented protected mealtimes which were unhurried and civilised. Systems were in place to ensure patients did not miss a meal.

“Staff displayed a good understanding of all the systems in place for protecting patients from malnutrition and dehydration. However, the trust’s own records showed that not all staff had attended the relevant training and actions had been implemented to resolve this within a set timeframe.

“We found that the positive outcome for patients had not been affected by this.”

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.