Report rates care at hospital ‘good’

Betty Scott is given her meal by Daniel Vernon at the Northern General Hospital
Betty Scott is given her meal by Daniel Vernon at the Northern General Hospital
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SHEFFIELD’S largest hospital is providing a good standard of care to elderly patients, and supplying them with good nutritious food, according to a report.

The Northern General Hospital in Sheffield was inspected by the Care Quality Commission - which did not find a single cause for concern over the way elderly patients are cared for.

Inspectors looked at the way staff ensured patients received enough food and drink, and assessed whether patients were treated with dignity and respect.

Doncaster Royal Infirmary was also praised for passing the national inspection - but, across, the UK, half of the country’s hospitals are failing to meet the basic needs of geriatric patients.

Barnsley District General Hospital was pulled up on the quality of the nutrition it offers to patients, with inspectors reporting ‘moderate concerns’. It was one of 49 hospitals out of 100 about which the Care Quality Commission has ‘minor, moderate or major concerns’.

Rotherham General Hospital was not inspected.

Bosses at Barnsley Hospital said they apologised to patients when they were informed of the findings. A spokeswoman said the inspection spot-checks did not reflect the “overall care and treatment provided”.

She said improvements had been made, including filling in patient food and drink diaries as standard.

In Sheffield Professor Hilary Chapman, Chief Nurse and Chief Operating Officer for the Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust which runs the Northern General, said: “We are delighted the hard work of staff here has been recognised by the Care Quality Commission.

“But we are never complacent and continually look for ways to improve the care we provide.”

The Care Quality Commission results were published as a separate report claimed one in 12 hospital meals nationally is returned uneaten, costing the NHS more than £22m a year.

The report found Rotherham Hospital spends less money on patient meals than any other hospital in the country - a total of just £2.93 per patient per day compared to £19 spent in Kent.

But analysis found there was no correlation between the amount patients actually eat and the amount spent on their food.

Matthew Lowry, chief executive of Rotherham Hospital, said: “Providing patients with good quality, healthy meals is a very important part of their care. We work hard to ensure we achieve value for money without compromising on quality.”