Care for elderly at the DGH must improve - report states

HOSPITAL bosses at the DGH must improve dignity, respect and nutrition for older people because it doesn’t meet the essential standard, according to a report by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The health regulator’s report, a review of compliance on dignity and nutrition for older people, was published this week and states the commission had ‘moderate concerns’ about Eastbourne DGH.

The inspection, which focused on whether people are treated with dignity and respect and whether they get the food and drink they need, found the hospital was not meeting either of the essential standards it reviewed and that improvements were needed.

The inspectors visited on May 9 and looked at how people were being cared for on Hailsham Three and Pevensey wards. They spoke with 10 ward patients, three visitors and seven members of staff. Hospital records were also checked.

One patient said, “Cannot complain, staff kind but meal times a nightmare for me, last week they insisted on feeding me, this week they aren’t. If I could reach my meal I could feed myself.”

One patient complained about ‘overcooked and tasteless vegetables’ and another said they had put on weight due to eating too many cakes and biscuits.

The surgical ward patients said the food was ‘too heavy and stodgy’ and another added, ‘Good food, but not always the hottest.’

It was also found some patients were unable to reach their drinking water.

The report raised concerns about dignity and said, “Discussions with two elderly patients, both female, stated they had had to refuse personal care as they did not want a man to wash them or to place them on a bedpan. They were not asked their preferences on admission to the ward.”

There were some good comments which included, ‘very helpful and kind’ and ‘always lower their voice when giving me personal care’.

The trust now has 28 days to send the CQC a report detailing action they will take to improve. The commission will then check the improvements have been made.

A hospital spokesperson said there is an ongoing and robust action plan currently in place.

Darren Grayson, chief executive of the hospital trust, said, “We are committed to ensuring we get every aspect of care right for all patients all of the time and ensuring the quality of our record keeping and documentation consistently reflects the high quality care I know we provide to the majority of our patients.

“I am pleased to note the patients’ views about their care, treatment and support highlighted in the reports were positive and some patients also gave positive feedback about the quality and choice of food.

“To date we have taken significant steps to address all the concerns raised and have been able to make significant progress in a short period of time.