PERFORMANCE: The Care Quality Commission said the trust passed standards relating to dignity and nutrition during a spot check, but improvements were needed to ensure performance was maintained on nutrition.

The regulator checked two “essential standards” of care during an inspection of two wards – Herbeden and Caesar Hawkins – at the trust’s Tooting site on 5 April.

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 that overall the trust was meeting both essential standards, but noted minor concerns on nutrition and suggested some improvements were needed.

In its report, the regulator said: “The majority of people who use the service feel that their privacy and dignity are respected, their needs are met and they are given enough information to help them make decisions about their care and treatment.

“There are instances where people do not have a tailor made service and some of their needs are not met. However, the trust is working with patient representatives and staff to monitor and improve quality.”

It added: “People who use the service enjoy a range of quality food. They can make choices about what they eat and are generally satisfied with the variety, quality and nutritional balance.

“There are systems designed to identify when people may need additional support with nutrition or hydration, however these are not always followed and people may be at risk because they are not getting the support they need.”

The CQC has told the trust it must send the regulator a report saying what action it is going to take to improve compliance with the standard for nutrition, which should be sent within 14 days of the initial spot check report being received.

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.