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Inspection report

Date of Inspection: 14 September 2010 and 11 July 2011
Date of Publication: 3 February 2011
Inspection Report published 3 February 2011 PDF

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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

Overall, we found that the Churchill Hospital was meeting this essential standard.

User experience

During our visit, patients’ views of the food provided while in hospital varied. Most patients were happy with the choice and quality of the food. Others felt the food was ‘awful’ and ‘disgusting’ and relied on relatives to provide food for them. In the inpatient survey (2009) the trust scored:

• 5 out of 10 on how patients would rate hospital food.

• 8.7 out of 10 on amount of choice of food and

• 7.1 out of 10 on whether patients received enough help with eating.

This was similar when compared with other trusts.

Other evidence

The trust’s annual Patient Environment Action Team (PEAT) assessment was completed February 2010. This is an annual assessment of non clinical aspects of care such as the environment, food and privacy and dignity for healthcare sites in England that have more than ten inpatient beds. The scores for each of the trust’s three sites is achieved through self assessment and verified by the National Patient Safety Agency. An external assessor was part of the inspection team. The Churchill hospital scored good for food. This rates the menu, choice, availability, quality, quantity, portions, temperature, presentation, service and beverages. Patients interviewed as part of this review had varied views on the food with some stating it was bland and inedible and others happy with the choice and quality.

The trust has a system in place to identify patients who require support with eating and drinking. The trust state that nutritional screening tools are used on wards to identify patients who require help with eating and drinking. A 'red tray' system is then used to identify these patients at mealtimes. PEAT scores, however, were lower in relation to the proportion of wards that operate a protected mealtime policy and the existence of a nutritional screening group. Staff on one ward visited stated that it was difficult to implement protected mealtimes as the X-ray department required patients over lunchtime. Patients were given a choice as to whether they wanted to go and if they did, they were offered sandwiches after their procedure.