"Missed lunch, but possibly wider implications"

About: Hairmyres Hospital / Trauma & orthopaedics

(as a carer),

My mother was a patient of Ward 1 at Hairmyres Hospital for a hip replacement. While for the majority of time, the care she received was excellent, on one occasion they forgot to give my mum lunch. While my mum is fairly lucky that she can articulate the fact that she hadn't been fed, I have concerns that there will be patients within the hospital who may not be able to do so (dementia patients, people with learning disabilities etc). I have heard previously from a relative who was a patient in another ward in Hairmyres that it also happened to them, so it's clearly not a one off incident.

While I am absolutely not looking for any staff members to be given in to "trouble", I do think that perhaps the procedures of feeding patients has to be looked at and issues addressed, given that malnutrition of patients is an issue in so many of our hospitals.

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Responses

Response from Susan Friel, Chief of Nursing Services, Hairmyres Hospital, NHS Lanarkshire

picture of Susan Friel

Dear Donna1985

I'm glad that your mum received excellent care for the majority of her stay in Ward 1, and I hope that she is continuing to recover well after her hip replacement. I am so sorry that she was not offered lunch on one occasion.

I can however, promise you that no member of staff will be 'given into trouble', as I sincerely believe that staff try hard to get care right every time for every patient, although in examples such as above they don't always manage to achieve this. Rather, I would reassure you that as a team we will look at our mealtimes again to identify where we need to tighten up our processes to ensure that no patient will be left without a meal.

Just to hopefully further assure you, we have already done a huge amount of work over the last year or so to support our staff to protect our patient's mealtimes, to enable them to eat their meals uninterrupted whenever possible. We now have a nominated member of staff to be the 'mealtime coordinator' in every ward to make sure that mealtimes run smoothly, and that the majority of ward staff are there to help to support vulnerable patients with their meals.

Many Thanks

Susan

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