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Inspection report

Date of Inspection: 10 September 2012
Date of Publication: 1 October 2012
Inspection Report published 1 October 2012 PDF

Food and drink should meet people's individual dietary needs (outcome 5)

Meeting this standard

We checked that people who use this service

  • Are supported to have adequate nutrition and hydration.

How this check was done

Our judgement

The provider was meeting this standard. People were protected from the risk of inadequate nutrition and dehydration.

User experience

We asked people using the service about the quality and choice of meals available to them. People were complimentary about the quality of meals. People told us the main meal was at tea time and said “the meals are lovely” and “I’ve put on a little bit of weight even though I walk everyday.” Throughout our inspection visit we saw staff offered people sufficient amounts of drinks.

People were supported to eat and drink sufficient amounts to meet their needs. There was a choice of suitable and nutritious food and drink to meet people’s dietary needs. One person said “I have a special diet and they’ve made sure I always have a choice” and “they put a jug of drink in my bedroom every evening in case I get thirsty at night.”

We observed the meals served at lunch time on the first floor. The atmosphere over lunch was quiet and relaxed. Most people remained seated in their arm chairs, a few people sat in the dining room for their meal and other’s remained in their bedroom. Staff supported some people individually who needed help with their meals. Staff used words of encouragement, made conversation and assisted people in a sensitive manner that respected their dignity. We observed a few people who sat looking at the plate of food and one person who walked away from the table without eating.

Other evidence

Staff were aware of people’s dietary needs and said they would check the care plan if there had been a change reported. Staff said some people with dementia need more encouragement and help at meal times. We saw a person with dementia who was not supported or encouraged to eat their meal got up and left the dining room without eating. The provider might find it useful to note that some people were unable to recognise the meals or the purpose of a plate of food placed in front of them because of their dementia or short term memory.

We spoke with the cook on duty and asked them about the menus choices. They told us they have a four weekly menu in place, which includes seasonal dishes, fruits and vegetables. We found there was a choice of meals available at all times and that an alternative meal or snack was always available.

The cook was trained and knowledgeable about preparing nutritional balanced meals. The range of meals prepared met people’s dietary needs such as diabetic or gluten free meals or soft diets. The service was inspected by the environmental health team in August 2012 and awarded the service five stars.

We read the care files of four people, which all contained information about their dietary needs and preferences. An initial nutritional screening was completed for people when they moved to the service or when concerns about eating and drinking were identified. Records showed people with special dietary needs were met. Arrangements were in place to safely manage risk or deal with any foreseeable emergencies such as the action to take in the event of choking.

We found people’s weights were measured regularly and a record kept of any weight gain or loss. Records showed the referrals were made in a timely manner to the doctor and the dietician, when there were concerns about people’s eating and drinking.