PERFORMANCE: The Care Quality Commission found the trust was meeting standards relating to dignity and nutrition, but also noted minor concerns on the nutrition standard, 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 at the trust’s Warwick Hospital during the spring.

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 the Warwick Hospital had passed both of the essential standards of quality and safety the CQC reviewed but, to maintain performance, it suggested some improvements were made on nutrition.

In its report, the regulator said: “The privacy and dignity of patients is being respected at Warwick Hospital. Patients are supported to be involved in their care and treatment and are encouraged to provide feedback on their experiences.”

It added: “The hospital is ensuring that patients receive a full assessment of their nutritional requirements and that these are addressed and regularly reviewed. Staff are trained to provide support to patients to eat and drink and the protected mealtime policy enhances this.

“Adherence to the protected mealtime policy is dependent on staffing availability on individual wards and when there are shortages patients are not eating their meals in a relaxed environment or receiving the support they need.”

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.