PERFORMANCE: The Care Quality Commission found the trust was meeting 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 of wards at the trust’s Walkergate Hospital on 12 April 2011.

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 Walkergate Hospital had passed both of the essential standards of quality and safety the CQC reviewed.

In its report, the regulator said: “Most patients (and their relatives) were very positive about their experiences of care and treatment at Walkergate hospital. They told us their individual needs had been recognised, that they had been respected, and that they were well-informed about their care and rehabilitation arrangements.

“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 hospital gave a high priority to making sure people benefited from a good diet and had sufficient fluids. Staff paid attention to making sure meals were appetising and that individual nutrition risks and personal preferences were addressed.

“People who required assistance generally received the level of support they required. Auditing of records is an area that would benefit from further scrutiny and the trust has taken action in this regard.”

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.