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Comment on second batch of CQC spot check reports

Published on 01 June 2011 11:30 PM

Commenting on the release of the second batch of Care Quality Commission spot check reports on dignity and nutrition, Michelle Mitchell, Charity Director at Age UK, said:

'Every patient in every hospital should be properly fed and treated with dignity. The inconsistencies being revealed by the CQC are unacceptable. Whilst it is good news that 10 of the latest hospitals checked have been found to meet nutrition and dignity standards that leaves four which are not. It is the very fundamentals of care that are being checked, not add-ons, so these clear failures and inconsistencies must be put right as a matter of urgency.  
'Following Age UK's Hungry to be Heard campaign calling last year for the CQC to undertake a comprehensive review of hospital mealtimes, these spot checks are a positive step in the right direction. However, even though we know that hospital staff's recognition of the issues is high, much more still needs to be done to ensure that policies and good intentions are actually being put into practice on wards.

'The Hungry to be Heard campaign wants the Government to ensure all hospitals publish data showing malnutrition rates on their wards in a form the public can understand and for hospital wards to put into practice Age UK's seven recommended steps*. We need steps to make sure that older patients' treatment is consistent from hospital to hospital and ward to ward, so that all staff treat all patients appropriately at all times.

'The Age UK Experts by Experience worked alongside the CQC and practicing nurses to carry out the dignity and nutrition inspections, visiting all 100 hospitals to observe the wards and speak with patients and visitors about the standards of care they were receiving.'

- ENDS -

Spokespeople available - please contact Ashley Cox at

* The seven steps of Hungry to be Heard are:

  1. Hospital staff must listen to us, our relatives and our carers.
  2. All ward staff must become food-aware.
  3. Hospital staff must follow their own professional codes and guidance from other bodies.
  4. We must be assessed for the signs or risk of malnourishment on admission and at regular intervals during our hospital stay.
  5. Hospitals should introduce ‘protected mealtimes'.
  6. Hospitals should implement a ‘red tray system and ensure that it works in practice.
  7. Hospitals should use trained volunteers where appropriate.
    Notes to editors

Age UK

For media enquiries relating to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland please contact the appropriate national office: Age Scotland on 0131 668 8055, Age Cymru on 029 2043 1562 and Age NI on 028 9024 5729.

Age UK is the new force combining Age Concern and Help the Aged, dedicated to improving later life.

We provide free information, advice and support to over five million people; commercial products and services to over one million customers; and research and campaign on the issues that matter to people in later life. Our work focuses on five key areas: money matters, health and well being, home and care, work and training and leisure and lifestyle. We work with our national partners, Age Scotland, Age Cymru and Age NI (together the Age UK Family), our local Age UK partners in England and local Age Concerns. We also work internationally for people in later life as a member of the DEC and with our sister charity Help Age International.

Age UK is a charitable company limited by guarantee and registered in England (registered charity number 1128267 and company number 6825798). Age Concern England and Help the Aged (both registered charities), and their trading and other associated companies merged on the 1st April 2009. Together they have formed the Age UK Group ("we").  Charitable services are offered through Age UK and commercial products are offered by the Charity's trading companies, which donate their net profits to Age UK (the Charity). 

About Experts by Experience:

Age UK experts by experience are older people with experience of using social care services, or people who care or have cared for older family members or friends.

Media contact: Ashley Cox
Tel: 020 3033 1429
Out of hours: 07071 243 243

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Last updated: Oct 06 2017

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