Posted on Thursday 30th June 2011
Praise for choice of hospital food
In February 2010, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), the regulator of health and social care services confirmed that it would be inspecting 100 hospitals across the country to look at the quality of care given to older people focussing on two key areas of regulation:
The two regulations were:
Respecting and involving people who use services
People understand the care and treatment choices available to them. They can express their views and are involved in making decisions about their care. They have their privacy, dignity and independence respected, and have their views and experiences taken into account in the way in which the service is delivered.
Meeting nutritional needs
People are encouraged and supported to have sufficient food and drink that is nutritional and balanced, and a choice of food and drink to meet their different needs
In March and April this year, the CQC paid two unannounced inspection visits to the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle and the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven and has praised the Trust for the care and attention that we give to our older patients.
The purpose of the inspection was to look at the quality of care older people receive whilst in hospital, focussing on nutritional needs alongside privacy and dignity.
The CQC team has given feedback which was extremely positive.
The key highlights included:
Very caring and attentive staff
Positive and welcoming approach from all the staff they spoke to
Positive working atmosphere on the ward areas
Good practice observed on nutritional practice including assistance given during meal times
Good correspondence in the care plans and patient notes regarding patient choice and preferences, for example, menu choices
Good practice in relation to risk assessment and consent
Recognition of the key roles we have in place to assist with meeting patient nutritional needs, for example, the role of the ward house keeper
They interviewed staff and patients on wards and said: “Patients we spoke to were mostly very positive about their experience of care and treatment. Most patients said they had their care needs met and had been treated respectfully. A typical comment received was 'There has been no waiting for care, treatment generally has been very good and staff are very caring'.”
A relative said: “We have been very happy with care in this hospital, we have experienced two hospitals out of the area and this is by far the best for care, and staff treating you right.”
Patients and relatives were also mostly very complimentary about their experience of mealtimes, stating:
“The food is good and improved since my last stay.”
“My special diet is catered for, food is hot and good, and choice is also very good. Amount eaten always recorded.”
“Staff check I have enough to eat and drink. I’ve never missed a meal and there’s always plenty of choice.”
The CQC has confirmed that both hospitals are compliant with these two important regulations but said that in order for West Cumberland Hospital to maintain compliance, a number of minor improvements would need to be considered. These are being addressed and an action plan has been developed to ensure we monitor the actions we have put in place.
Chris Platton, Acting Director of Nursing Quality and Governance, said: “Patient care is our number one priority and we are committed to meeting these important and essential standards for our patients.
“I am extremely proud that the day-to-day patient care that our staff work tremendously hard to deliver has been recognised by an unannounced visit by the key body that regulates the care and safety delivered to our patients.”