Dumfries Infirmary elderly care improvements needed

An inspection has found a dozen areas for improvement needed in care for older patients at Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary.

It received a visit from Healthcare Improvement Scotland last month.

Inspectors praised the “warm, caring and friendly interactions between staff and patients” at the Dumfries site.

However, they said work needed to be done as wards across the hospital were “not suitable for people with dementia and cognitive impairment”.

The visit to Dumfries Infirmary took place from 6 to 8 August and concentrated on care for older people.

It found five areas of strength, including the training of staff as “dementia champions” and the “quality of food and the choices on offer”.

Other areas were found to require improvement work.

They included the need for better screening for cognitive impairment and a lack of guidance for staff on how to provide care to meet the individual needs of older people.

Inspectors said they expected NHS Dumfries and Galloway to address all the areas for improvement they had discovered.

‘Positive impact’

The health board said it welcomed the findings which it said showed patients were positive about the care received at the hospital.

Executive Nurse Director Hazel Boreland said it would address any areas of improvement as a matter of priority.
“The report highlighted concerns about the levels of noise and confidentiality when our medical staff are speaking to individual patients at the region’s main hospital,” she said.

“This is something we are extremely committed to improving, particularly as we work towards the creation of a new state-of-the-art hospital.

“Single rooms will definitely have a positive impact.”

She said the hospital would use the feedback from inspectors to “drive higher standards of care for every patient” and had developed a detailed action plan to fully address all the issues identified.