A health watchdog has called for a hospital to improve after inspectors observed a nurse leaving an elderly patient attempting to eat soup with a fork.
Healthcare Improvement Scotland highlighted areas of strength and concern during two recent examinations of Wishaw General Hospital in North Lanarkshire.
In a report released on Thursday, the health inspectors revealed they carried out a second look at one particular ward at the hospital over concerns about the "nutritional needs of patients not being met."
Healthcare Improvement Scotland noted: "We observed a nurse starting to assist a patient with their meal. The staff member then left the patient mid-way through their meal with no explanation given to the patient.
"We heard the staff member tell a colleague they were going on a break. The patient was then observed trying to eat their soup with a fork. Some of the soup spilled over the patient and the bowl of soup almost spilled over the patient. We intervened and asked nursing staff to help the patient."
The inspectors also raised fears about staff using "inappropriate language when talking about older people in hospital." This included workers stating that patients "needed feeding" and "toileting", Healthcare Improvement Scotland noted.
In the report, the watchdog found that the hospitals’ areas of strength included providing support for carers, providing nursing staff with specialist dementia training and creating a kitchen helpdesk to allow staff to report problems with meals for patients.
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. 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."
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