Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) has today issued a report following an unannounced inspection to the Borders General Hospital between 12-14 June 2017. The purpose of the inspection was to review the nutritional care of patients.

Commenting on the report, Dr Cliff Sharp, Medical Director says: "NHS Borders acknowledges and accepts the findings of this report and we welcome the focus that inspections give to our work. Inspections are part of a national improvement plan and it is helpful that HIS inspectors work with us so we can be the best we can be. We commend staff on the positive findings that are contained within the report, and have developed an action plan to address the areas for improvement identified.

"Most areas for improvement relate to documentation and highlighted instances where we have not yet embedded all aspects of the food, fluid and nutritional care standards.

"Our new Director of Nursing, Midwifery & Acute Services, Claire Pearce launched a 'Back to Basics' improvement programme earlier this month. This is a focused effort to ensure that the improvements we make are embedded and sustained, and includes an important piece of work to reduce the burden of documentation for clinical staff, so that they have more time for patient care. We have asked Healthcare Improvement Scotland to support this improvement work.

"Under the leadership of myself and Claire we have already changed our documentation to take account of the learning from the inspection, commenced a staff training programme with a focus on assessing patients' nutritional needs and introduced a new method of providing ongoing assurance relating to food, fluid and nutrition.

"In addition we are developing the role of Mealtime Coordinators in order to extend the good practice that exists, and to achieve a consistent approach to mealtimes on wards."

Adding her comments, Claire Pearce says: "It is particularly pleasing to note that the report details the Inspectors observing our staff treating all patients with compassion, dignity and respect. Inspectors observed patients who were comfortable and well cared for. Patients who were spoken to by the Inspection team gave positive feedback about many things including the quality of care they receive at Borders General Hospital; the helpful, smiling, friendly and approachable staff and the quality and choice of food and drink that we provide.

"We are committed to providing the highest standard of care to our patients and will use our learning from this report to ensure that we achieve excellence in care for every patient, every time."