PERFORMANCE: The Care Quality Commission found the trust was meeting standards relating to dignity and nutrition, but minor concerns were noted on dignity, 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 Hereford Hospital on 3 February.

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 Hereford Hospital had passed both of the essential standards of quality and safety the CQC reviewed, but noted improvements could made on patient dignity.

In its report, the regulator said: “People generally have their privacy respected at the hospital.

“However, there is some evidence that patients’ dignity is not always respected and promoted. Some patients felt that they are not adequately involved in decisions about their care and treatment.

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

But on nutrition it added: “Patients’ nutritional needs are generally met at the hospital and the management of hydration is a particular strength.”

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.