Milton Keynes Hospital failing in treatment of the elderly

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Milton Keynes Hospital has failed to meet any of the five standards required of it when treating older patients.

The shocking results were revealed in the results of the Care Quality Commission’s first ever dedicated review of privacy, dignity and nutrition in hospitals.

Out of 50 hospitals inspected in 2012, MKGH was the only one to fail on all five standards – namely respecting and involving patients, meeting nutritional needs, safeguarding people against potential abuse, staffing and record-keeping.

Two CQC inspectors visited Milton Keynes in August last year.

Of the 50 hospitals inspected, three – Chesterfield, Alderney and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn – met only two of the five standards, Newham met one standard. Milton Keynes was the only hospital that failed to meet any.

Director of patient care and chief nurse at the hospital, Lisa Knight, apologised for the results.

She said: “Providing safe, quality, compassionate patient care is the priority for Milton Keynes Hospital.

“The Care Quality Commission inspected two wards in August 2012. Patients the inspectors spoke to said they had been treated well and that nurses had taken the time to talk with them.

“However the inspectors found some issues with care standards, including staffing levels and meeting patients’ individual needs. We are sorry that our patients did not receive the high standard of care that they deserve.

“Since we received this report in December we have put in place an action plan to make sure improvements are made.

“The hospital has reviewed its staffing levels to ensure that every ward has the right number of doctors and nurses with the right skills to safely care for their patients and that all patients’ needs are met.”

Talking about the results in general, CQC chief executive, David Behan, said: “We found good care and care that had improved. However, it is disappointing people are still not being given enough privacy when receiving personal care and that they are left alone when they call for help.

“This is basic care and getting it right can transform a stressful experience for an older person into a supportive and caring one. Safe, good-quality care is not complex or time-consuming. Effective leadership and staff who feel supported make this happen every day. We want services to learn from the best.”

Labour parliamentary spokesman for Milton Keynes, Andrew Pakes, said: “This will make yet more worrying reading for patients at Milton Keynes Hospital. It is completely unacceptable for any older person not to get the care and help they need. With a growing older population in Milton Keynes we cannot afford to tolerate poor standards.

“We have some fantastic health care workers in the city but the NHS is under real pressure. The Government has wasted £3 billion on a backroom NHS re-organisation that could have been used to improve care and get more resources for the city.”

But Conservative Milton Keynes South MP Iain Stewart said his party would not be taking lessons from Labour.

“Resources into the local NHS are increasing,” he said.

“Mark (Lancaster, MK North MP) and I met with management of the hospital to discuss their plans to address the situation last year and have been assured that we will see improvements soon.

“We are taking no lessons from the Labour Party that gave us the Mid Staffordshire crisis through their targets culture. While many parts of the NHS continue to provide excellent care, this Government is determined to tackle complacency so that we receive nothing less than the best in the NHS.”