NHS Lanarkshire has welcomed Healthcare Improvement Scotland’s (HIS) report on care for older people in acute care at Hairmyres Hospital – and announced a detailed improvement plan.
HIS today (Monday 16 April 2012) published a report about its visit to Hairmyres from Monday 5 to Wednesday 7 March 2012.
Rosemary Lyness, NHS Lanarkshire’s Director of Acute Services, said: “The inspectors reported some of the real strengths we have in providing a high standard of care to older people. For example, we were pleased they noted the positive communication and interactions between staff and patients and that patients were being treated with compassion, dignity and respect.
“While there were many positives in the report, we are also very aware of the need to develop our services to continuously improve the level of care provided to older people. The inspectors found some areas for improvement during their visit. We have put in place a detailed action plan and are already making progress in addressing these areas.”
NHS Lanarkshire’s action plan includes the introduction of new nursing documentation to ensure that patients who are assessed as having a cognitive impairment have an appropriate, individualised care plan in place.
This will build on Hairmyres Hospital’s existing strengths in dealing with dementia and cognitive impairment. The inspectors highlighted:
- The availability of an elderly care nurse specialist in the accident and emergency department.
- The provision of a dementia resource folder in all clinical areas within the hospital which staff have received training in.
- Staff can obtain advice and guidance from the psychiatric liaison service based in Hairmyres Hospital.
- NHS Lanarkshire’s work with the Dementia Services Development Centre at Stirling University.
The inspectors highlighted as a strength the fact that the majority of patients had a pressure ulcer assessment completed within six hours of admission. However, they noted that this was not always supported in the nursing documentation.
They also identified the need to further improve the care and assessment of pressure ulcers. To address this, NHS Lanarkshire’s action plan includes the introduction of new patient safety documentation with the support of tissue viability specialists. This will ensure that patients’ skin is re-assessed at regular intervals and preventative measures taken to reduce the risk of pressure ulcers developing.
In addition, new nursing documentation will ensure that patients have an individualised care plan in place if assessed as being at risk of developing a pressure ulcer.