Watchdog warns James Paget Hospital over nutrition

A hospital has been ordered to make urgent improvements to standards of care following an inspection.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has warned James Paget University Hospital, in Gorleston, standards of nutrition were short of what patients expect.

The CQC has warned that the hospital trust faces prosecution or closure if it fails to make urgent improvements.

The hospital, that serves east Norfolk and north Suffolk, said it was working to meet the CQC's requirements.

The CQC first identified concerns about nutrition at the hospital in April.

Following their latest visit, inspectors found that people were provided with a choice of nutritious food and drink and that staff were generally kind and supportive.

'Won't hesitate'

But they added that the food was still not always suitable to meet an individual's needs and patients still did not always receive the support they needed to maintain a good diet and fluid intake.

Frances Carey, regional director for CQC in the East of England, said that although inspectors had seen some improvement since their last visit, further work was needed.

Ms Carey said the CQC would be making another unannounced visit to the hospital shortly.

"If we find the required progress has still not been made, we won't hesitate to use our legal powers to protect the people who use this service," she said.

Ms Carey added that enforcement powers available include prosecution, closure or restriction of services.

The hospital's chief executive Wendy Slaney said: "There is still work to do to get it right for all our patients and we are working on a programme of initiatives to ensure the required improvements are made."

Ms Slaney said the hospital had introduced a new system for meal delivery and was speaking to patients after they eat to ensure that they got the support they needed.

She added: "We are focused on getting this right in the interests of all our patients with an expectation that when the CQC returns we will meet their requirements."

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