James Paget University Hospitals Foundation Trust has been told it must make “urgent improvements” to how it meets the nutritional needs of older patients after it failed to demonstrate improvements.
The regulator has said it will make “another unannounced visit to the hospital shortly” and threatened to use its enforcement powers – including prosecution, closure or restriction of services – if progress is not made.
Problems first emerged at the hospital in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk in an inspection in April after which it was obliged to submit an action plan to the CQC. However, a further inspection this month found that “standards of nutrition were still falling short of what people should be able to expect”, according to a statement from the CQC.
The hospital was originally visited as part of a raft of unannounced inspections into dignity and nutrition carried out nationwide by the regulator and found not to be meeting essential standards for nutrition and dignity.
Inspectors “found instances when people were not treated with respect and their dignity was being seriously compromised” at the trust, according to a report published in June. Patients “do not receive adequate support to dine and… do not benefit from a positive mealtime experience”, the CQC said.
Regional director for CQC in the East of England Frances Carey said today: “We were very disappointed that when our inspectors returned to James Paget Hospital they did not see enough improvement in relation to the food and drink people receive. Proper nutrition and hydration is an important part of recovery, especially for elderly people.”