Hospital ‘treating older patients with dignity and respect’

OLDER people in a Dumfries and Galloway Hospital are treated with dignity and respect by friendly and approachable staff.

That was the finding of a report which followed an unannounced inspection at Galloway Community Hospital in Stranraer by Healthcare Improvement Scotland from September 17 to 19.

Welcoming the findings of the report into Care of Older People, General Manager of Acute and Diagnostics Carole Morton said: “This is an extremely positive report which endorses so much of the good work being carried out by our excellent staff at Galloway Community Hospital.

“Although ensuring people are helped to achieve the best health outcomes is fundamental to what we do, it is essential that patients are always treated with dignity and respect.

“The fact that so many older patients and their families were happy to voice that this was the case at Galloway Community Hospital is a real credit to our extremely hardworking, kind and conscientious staff.

“However, we are never complacent. We are always working to ensure high standards are maintained, and to build on them and make improvements wherever we can. We very much welcome the findings which have emerged from the work carried out by Healthcare Improvement Scotland and are incorporating their recommendations within our improved action plan.”

A team of three inspectors and a project officer from Healthcare Improvement Scotland arrived unannounced at Galloway Community Hospital on September 17 to undertake three days of work looking at rehabilitation, palliative and end of life care in Dalrymple Ward, acute medical admissions and stroke in Garrick Ward and at work in the Emergency Department.

During the inspection they spoke with staff and used additional tools to gather more information, including observation of interactions between patients and staff, interviews with patients, and questionnaires for patients and carers.

Inspectors reported that, ‘During our inspection, we saw that patients were treated with dignity and respect. All patients appeared comfortable and were dressed appropriately. We saw that patients had call bells, fluids and personal items within reach. When call bells were heard, they were answered promptly.’

They also said, ‘Staff were friendly and approachable. We saw staff addressed patients by their preferred name and interactions between patients and staff were positive. We did not hear any inappropriate or negative language.’

The report highlights areas of good practice, including the observation that pressure ulcer risk assessments are being completed within the nationally required timeframe, with specialist pressure relieving equipment in place. It also highlighted that meals are served early and in a timely manner to the patients that required assistance, and that a good range of snacks and additional menu items are provided.

In its recommendations, the report noted that staff must ensure the patients’ usual weight or any reported weight loss is recorded in order to comply with national standards, and that similarly food record charts are commenced and accurately completed for patients who require them.

A variety of comments were collected from patients, carers and visitors, with strong backing for the view that staff are ‘friendly and approachable’.

The Healthcare Improvement Scotland report comes at the end of a very positive year for Galloway Community Hospital.

Earlier this year the hospital enjoyed a very positive inspection report from Healthcare Environment Inspectorate (Scotland) reports in regards to infection control and cleanliness standards. Dalrymple Ward has meanwhile received two Bronze awards for Care Assurance in the last 12 months, and Garrick Ward was named ‘Mentor of the Year’ from the University of the West of Scotland.

The full Healthcare Improvement Scotland report can be viewed at… http://www.healthcareimprovementscotland.org/our_work/inspecting_and_regulating_care/opah_dg/galloway_community_nov_19.aspx

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