Care Quality Commission
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CQC warns James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust that it is still failing to meet the nutritional needs of people in its care
Regulator demands immediate improvement by hospital trust
The Care Quality Commission has issued a formal warning to James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust saying it must make urgent improvements to standards of care. CQC first identified concerns about how the Trust meets the nutritional needs of those in its care in April this year. CQC inspectors, along with a practicing nurse and an ‘expert by experience’ made unannounced inspections to 100 NHS hospitals to check whether elderly people were treated with dignity and respect, and were receiving food and drink that met their needs.
At this time, CQC found that James Paget hospital was not meeting essential standards of care in relation to dignity or nutrition, and told the trust it must make improvements.
The trust submitted an action plan to CQC detailing what changes it intended to make. However when CQC inspectors returned earlier this month they found standards of nutrition were still falling short of what people should be able to expect.
CQC has now issued a Warning Notice which demands that the trust make urgent improvements.
Frances Carey, regional director for CQC in the East of England, said: "We were very disappointed that when our inspectors returned to James Paget Hospital they did not see enough improvement in relation to the food and drink people receive. Proper nutrition and hydration is an important part of recovery, especially for elderly people.
“We will be making another unannounced visit to the hospital shortly and, when we do, we will expect the trust to be able to demonstrate it has made significant improvements.
“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.
“We have a range of enforcement powers which can be used, including prosecution, closure, or restriction of services. “
Following the most recent visit to the hospital, inspectors found while there were some signs of improvement, further work was needed.
Inspectors found people were provided with a choice of nutritious food and hydration and that staff were generally kind and supportive. But the food was still not always suitable to meet the individual’s needs and people still did not always receive the support they required to maintain a good dietary and fluid intake.
Frances Carey added: “The law says that these are the standards that everyone should be able to expect. Providers have a duty to ensure they are compliant.
“This warning sends a clear and public message that James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust needs to address this issue as a matter of urgency or face serious consequences.”
All the individual reports on the 100 hospital inspected at part of the Dignity and Nutrition programme are available on the CQC website at http://www.cqc.org.uk/reviewsandstudies/inspectionprogramme-dignityandnutritionforolderpeople.cfm
The full national report on findings from the inspection programme will be published in October.
For further information please contact Louise Grifferty, regional communications manager, on 07717 422917 or the CQC press office on 0207 448 9401 or out of hours on 07917 232 143.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
The report of the inspection CQC carried out as part of its Dignity and Nutrition Review earlier this year is available on CQC’s website via the following link:
A full report of our inspector’s most recent visit, that took place on 1 September, will be published on our website shortly.
The warning notice finds that James Paget University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is in breach of Regulation 14 (1)(a)(c) and (2), Health and Social Care Act (Regulated Activities), meeting nutritional needs.
A deadline of 26 September 2011 has been given for improvement. If this deadline is not met, CQC has a range of enforcement powers which include restricting the services that a provider can offer, or, in the most serious cases, suspending or cancelling a service. CQC can also issue financial penalty notices and cautions or prosecute the provider for failing to meet essential standards. Any regulatory decision that CQC takes is open to challenge by a registered person through a variety of internal and external appeal processes.