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Dignity and nutrition inspection programme published

19 March 2013

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has published its first dedicated review of privacy, dignity and nutrition in both care homes and hospitals.

The 2012 Dignity and Nutrition Inspection Programme (DANI) has found that while most older people are having their needs met, a number of hospitals and care homes need to make improvements. It highlights the fact that often small changes can make a big difference to people’s experience of care.

CQC inspected 500 care homes and found 84 per cent respected people’s privacy and dignity and 83 per cent met people’s nutritional needs. This means staff were aware of people’s likes and dislikes and made sure people with dementia were given support to choose and their food. However, there were times when inspectors witnessed people not being given help to eat and drink or given personal care in a way that respected their privacy.

The report also looked at the same issues in hospitals following on from 2011’s report on respect, dignity and nutrition in NHS hospitals. It found improvements in the way people’s nutritional needs were met, with 88 per cent of hospitals visited making sure people were helped to eat and drink compared to 83 per cent in 2011. Whilst this is good progress there are also pockets of poor care.

Disappointingly, fewer hospitals are respecting people’s privacy and dignity, with 82 per cent meeting people’s needs compared to 88 per cent in 2011. CQC inspectors saw call bells left unanswered, leaving people without help to get to the toilet and without support for other needs.

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 the all services to learn from the best.’

CQC published its first DANI programme in October 2011, which checked two standards at 100 hospitals. The inspections have been widened to include five standards for this programme.

The inspections took place last summer.  

Notes to editors

Inspection teams included nurses, geriatricians, dieticians and people with experience of using services, called Experts by Experience.

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About the Care Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care in England.

We make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care and we encourage care services to improve.

We monitor, inspect and regulate services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety and we publish what we find to help people choose care.