1 in 7 care homes not feeding patients properly

A shocking new report from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has revealed that one in seven UK nursing homes is failing to ensure residents are well-nourished and properly hydrated.

Inspectors from the CQC visited a total of 599 nursing homes between October 2010 and July 2011, and found that as many as 84 of them were failing to meet legal requirements in relation to food and drink. Widespread examples were uncovered of elderly, vulnerable patients who were not getting enough attention at mealtimes, and therefore not getting enough food and drink to stop them from becoming malnourished and dehydrated.

One of the most worrying cases uncovered by inspectors was a patient who was dangerously underweight but was only eating two pieces of toast a day instead of a high-calorie diet. In another case, a patient who was identified as needing assistance when eating was simply given a spoon by a member care staff.

The nursing homes identified as failing to meet standards will now need to make urgent improvements, such as sending staff on nutrition awareness care training courses or face further action from the CQC.