Glasgow hospital becomes first inspected on quality of older people’s care

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde is the first health board to come under scrutiny through a programme of inspections to look at care for older people in hospitals.

Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon established the inspection programme, which is being carried out by Healthcare Improvement Scotland, to ensure acute hospitals are providing high standards of care for older people.

The first visit, to the Western Infirmary in the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde area, took place on 21-23 February this year, and focused primarily on nutrition and hydration, and on care for patients with dementia or cognitive impairment.

Every general hospital which cares for older people will be inspected, as part of the inspection schedule.

The Western Infirmary report highlights many areas of good practice and has also requested that the board makes a number of improvements.

Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said:

“I welcome this report by the Healthcare Improvement Scotland on the care of older people at the Western Infirmary in Glasgow. This new inspection programme will help to provide the level of scrutiny and assurance of hospitals in Scotland that the public expects and is entitled to.

“The majority of the findings in the report are positive and the inspection team noted many areas of good practice. However, I recognise that there are areas which need improvement, and the NHS Board is acting on these through its clear commitment to improving the quality of care for older people, alongside the implementation of the national Standards of Care for Dementia in Scotland.

“NHS GG&C has published an Improvement Plan and I expect the board to give the highest priority to ensuring that all of the required improvements are in put in place.

“We are determined to achieve improved performance right across the NHS in Scotland on the care of older people in hospitals, and we know that the inspection process is already helping to drive improvements in all NHS Boards in Scotland.

“In addition to this programme of announced inspections, HIS will also be carrying out further unannounced inspections in the future, to guarantee that we will have real assurance on the experience of patients, and to ensure that follow-up action is taken after its inspections.

“All NHS Boards have been left in no doubt that they must act now to improve the care of older people in hospitals and to learn the lessons from the HIS reports as they are published over the coming months.”