Care watchdog condemns ‘deteriorating’ standards

THE number of hospitals that treat patients with dignity and respect is declining, the care regulator claims today.

Almost one in five hospitals do not meet basic care standards which ensure that patients are being treated appropriately, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) said.

Inspectors for the watchdog found that 18 per cent of 50 hospitals it inspected did not always meet the standards last year, compared to 12 per cent in 2011.

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“It is clearly unacceptable that this position, poor to begin with, has deteriorated further,” the report states.

The CQC said that Milton Keynes Hospital failed to meet any of the five basic standards of safeguarding patients from abuse, treating patients with respect, providing for patients’ nutritional needs, having appropriate staffing levels and proper record keeping.

Newham Hospital in east London met just one of the standards and three others – Chesterfield Royal Hospital, Alderney Hospital in Dorset and Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn, Norfolk – met just two of five standards.

The CQC also inspected 500 
care homes and found that 16 
per cent were not properly respecting people’s privacy and dignity and 17 per cent were 
not meeting standards on nutrition.

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David Behan, chief executive of the regulator, said: “Safe, good quality care is not complex or time-consuming.

“Effective leadership and staff who feel supported make this happen every day. We want services to learn from the best.”

Peter Carter, general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, said: “Two-thirds of care homes meeting all the five standards is not enough.

“If your relative is in the third that do not meet all of those standards, you will know that they are not optional extras.

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“We are also saddened to learn that the number of inspected hospitals which met the standards for privacy and dignity has fallen since 2011.”

Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb said it expected the CQC to take swift action where care fell down.

“We want Britain to be the best country in the world to grow old in – but we have a lot of work to do,” he said.

A spokeswoman for Chesterfield Royal Hospital said: “We’re confident that all the work we’re undertaking through our care strategy is driving up quality of service, and that it responds to the CQC’s call for high standards of basic care for all patients, but especially older patients and those with dementia.”