Conquest rapped over elderly care

HOSPITAL managers have been criticised by a health inspectors over the treatment of elderly patients at the Conquest.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) said not enough was been done to meet expected standards for nutrition and patients’ dignity and privacy.

The watchdog visited the Conquest in May and findings were published this week.

The report was part of a full investigation of the Conquest, which the Observer highlighted in May.

Inspectors visited two wards and in its report they said one was short staffed because two trained nurses had been moved and not replaced.

Call bells were also not left within easy reach for patients to summon help.

One patient spent 20 minutes calling out for a drink and using the bell before a student nurse came.

Inspectors also found incomplete care records and some staff said they had not been trained to help patients with dementia. There was also little information to tell staff which patients were physically or mentally frail.

Patients were also having to use commodes in the wards.

Inspectors also got mixed feedback about the standard of food. Some patients with an obvious injury were served meals without assistance or specialist cutlery until stall were prompted by CQC inspectors. Others said the food was tasteless.

But inspectors did get many positive comments from patients and visitors, saying staff were courteous and did respect patients’ privacy.

Darren Grayson, the trust’s chief executive, said: “We are committed to making sure that we get every aspect of care right for all our patients all of the time and ensuring the quality of our record keeping and documentation consistently reflects the high quality care that I know we provide to the majority of our patients.

“I am pleased to note that the patients’ views about their care, treatment and support highlighted in the reports were positive and some patients also gave positive feedback about the quality and choice of food.

“To date we have taken significant steps to address all the concerns raised by the CQC and have been able to make significant progress in a short period of time.”