South Scotland

Hospital 'must improve' older patient care

Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary Image copyright Andy Farrington

The healthcare watchdog has called for improvements in the way Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary treats older patients.

Healthcare Improvement Scotland found assessments were not always completed accurately and there was a lack of "person-centred" care plans.

But the watchdog said patients and relatives were complimentary about the care they received.

NHS Dumfries and Galloway said the report would "drive improvements".

Its publication followed an unannounced inspection carried out in January.

Senior inspector Ian Smith said: "During our inspection of Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary we found areas of good practice and areas to improve. Interactions between staff and patients were positive and the majority of patients praised the care they received.

"However NHS Dumfries and Galloway must ensure that all older people, who are being treated in accident and emergency or are admitted to hospital, are assessed within the national standard recommended timescales and that that all documentation is dated, timed and filed correctly."

He added: "We will continue to monitor the situation and will follow up on these at future inspections."

The report highlighted areas for improvement:

  • In general, assessments were not always completed accurately and within the recommended standard timescales
  • There was a lack of person-centred care plans
  • There are concerns around the completion of the assessment of capacity to consent and staff understanding of Adults with Incapacity (AWI)

Areas of good practice picked out by the watchdog were:

  • Patients and relatives were complimentary about the care
  • Patients were complimentary about the quality of food
  • Staff felt supported by senior management
  • There was good multi-disciplinary working

A spokeswoman for NHS Dumfries and Galloway said: "NHS Dumfries and Galloway welcomes the report and, following the inspection in January, has used the recommendations to drive improvements.

"I am pleased to note the positive comments from patients and their relatives about their experience of care and am committed to ensuring that Dumfries and Galloway hospitals deliver high quality to all individuals who receive care."

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