Glasgow & West Scotland

Western Infirmary 'must improve' elderly care

Scotland's first hospital inspection to focus on the care of older people has noted several areas for improvement at Glasgow's Western Infirmary.

Inspectors carried out the announced visit from 21 to 23 February 2012.

They found high standards in acute care and how staff dealt with patients.

But they also noted the hospital did not have a system for tracking dementia patients who were moved and some failings in areas such as personalised care and nutritional assessment.

In her report, Healthcare Improvement Scotland chief Susan Brimelow said: "The inspection team noted areas of strength where NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (GGC) was performing well in relation to the care provided to older people in acute care.

Care issues

"The majority of interactions between staff and patients observed were found to be positive."

Ms Brimelow's team also noted some areas for improvement.

"NHS GGC does not have a tracking system for patients with dementia who are moved to other areas within the hospital," she said.

"Patients in the Western Infirmary are not being individually assessed for cognitive impairment to allow for personalised care.

"We identified that not all nutritional assessments are being carried out either on admission or throughout the patient's stay.

"This led to no personalised care plan to identify patient's specific nutritional care needs, being put in place.

"Patients who required assistance at meal times were not being offered the appropriate utensils to help them with eating and drinking."

Ms Brimelow said the inspection had resulted in 13 areas being identified for improvement.

Speaking after publication of the report, NHS GGC's acute director of nursing Rory Farrelly, said: "We are pleased that the inspection team highlighted a number of areas where we are performing well in relation to the care provided to older people at the Western Infirmary.

"We do, however, fully accept that there are a number of areas where we need to improve and an action plan will now be developed to implement the areas for improvement highlighted by the inspectors.

"The delivery of consistent high quality healthcare to older people across NHS GGC is a key priority for this health board and a number of innovative initiatives are already under way to improve the care of patients with dementia and cognitive impairment."

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