December 12 2013 Latest news:
Sunday, September 22, 2013
A hospital has admitted its below-average score for food and hydration in a patient survey has caused concern.
The Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) in King’s Lynn was praised for its cleanliness and the condition, appearance and maintenance of its Gayton Road site in the first-ever Patient-Led Assessment of the Care Environment (PLACE) survey completed by local people.
However, in the survey, which focuses on the care environment and does not cover clinical care provision or staff standards, the QEH scored 77.09pc for food and hydration – nearly 8pc lower than the national average.
It also fell down on privacy, dignity and wellbeing, scoring 85.47pc compared to the 89pc national average.
Gwyneth Wilson, director of nursing and patient experience, said: “The PLACE results have highlighted the good work of our staff in maintaining a clean and pleasant environment for our patients.
“The result for nutrition and hydration is of more concern because under the old Patient Environment Action Team (PEAT) assessment we always scored highly for catering.” PLACE replaced the PEAT assessment earlier this year,
“However, the PLACE score also reflected availability of food outside mealtimes. We have since introduced a system to ensure food is available for patients outside normal hours.
“We have used this assessment as an opportunity to find out from our patients where we can further improve levels of privacy and dignity and a number of their suggestions have already been put into effect.”
Last month the QEH received a damning inspection report from the Care Quality Commission (CQC), which said action was needed in nine areas, including respecting patients’ privacy, dignity and independence.
Since then it has drawn up an action plan to deal with the failings identified in the CQC report and has been given £3.9m government grant for its Accident and Emergency (A&E) department.
“The trust is taking a range of actions to improve flow through the A&E unit to reduce demand and to therefore address capacity constraints that may lead to difficulties for staff in maintaining patients’ privacy and dignity while carrying out procedures,” an earlier ministerial briefing produced by the trust said.
Neil Churchill, director for patient experience at NHS England, said: “The condition and cleanliness of wards has a huge effect on how comfortable, relaxed and confident patients feel, which in turn affects how quickly they recover.”