NHS Lanarkshire welcome HIS report on care for the elderly

Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 14:26 BST on Friday 20th July 2012.

NHS  Lanarkshire has welcomed the Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) report  into care for older people in acute care, saying that the report highlights “…key strengths in providing a high standard of care…”

The report, which followed up on inspections at Wishaw General Hospital was published yesterday (Thursday 19th July), and since its publication NHS Lanarkshire hgave announced a detailed improvement plan.

HIS’s report came after its announced inspection at Wishaw General Hospital from Monday 28th May to Wednesday 30th May and its unannounced follow-up inspection on Tuesday 19th June.

Commenting, Rosemary Lyness, NHS Lanarkshire’s Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professions, said: “The inspectors highlighted some of Wishaw General’s key strengths in providing a high standard of care to older people. This includes the way in which staff use key personal information to produce personal care plans for patients as well as picture signage on bedroom, toilet and bathroom doors for people with dementia or cognitive impairments.

“We were pleased to note that overall patients were positive about the care and assistance they received at Wishaw General. Of the 110 patients who completed the inspectors’ questionnaire, 88 per cent stated that they had been given clear information about their condition and treatment and 97 per cent said the quality of care they received was good.

Rosemary added: “We are continually improving the level of care we provide to older people and the report includes valuable feedback to help us achieve this. A wide range of actions to benefit patients are already being taken forward through a detailed plan that addresses areas for improvement found by the inspectors during their visits.”

NHS Lanarkshire’s action plan includes a new cognitive impairment screening tool which has now been introduced at the hospital. The tool helps staff identify older people with cognitive impairment when they are treated in accident and emergency or admitted to hospital.

Further work is taking place to ensure that patients with a cognitive impairment have appropriate, individualised care plans in place.

Improvements to patients’ food and mealtimes are also being introduced.

Rosemary said: “We are working hard provide patients with all the support and assistance they need to have a positive experience at mealtime. We are also introducing a regular evening snack so that patients are able to have something to eat out with main mealtimes.”

Other improvements for older people include making the hospital a friendlier environment for patients with dementia and cognitive impairment. This work is already underway and involves new dementia-friendly signs, clocks and colours that make it easier for patients to find their way round the ward.