Culture change in care of older people at BGH

The Border General Hospital near Melrose in The Scottish Borders.
The Border General Hospital near Melrose in The Scottish Borders.

A visit to Borders General Hospital by Healthcare Improvement Scotland inspectors revealed elderly patients being treated with compassion, dignity and respect.

It was a very different picture from that outlined in a previous inspection report when the care of older people caused concern among inspectors.

After making a raft of changes, NHS Borders chief executive, Jane Davidson asked Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) to assess the care of older people in Borders General Hospital. Her actions were also prompted by a report which followed an investigation of a complaint about the care of older people in Borders General Hospital, published by the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman in December 2015.

Revealing the findings of their latest inspection, HIS said that NHS Borders’ culture is changing to become more focused on learning and ensuring that the care it provides is increasingly person-centred.

Speaking of the report, Claire Sweeney, interim director of quality assurance for Healthcare Improvement said: “During this review we saw clear evidence of changes to the leadership and culture in NHS Borders. We are pleased to see that staff and patient representatives have reported a positive shift in culture that is increasingly focused on the patient.

“This change has been led by the leadership team and board members, and filtered throughout the organisation. These changes will help NHS Borders to continue to improve.

“We have highlighted a number of areas of good practice and some areas for further improvement. We will continue to engage with the NHS board.”

NHS Borders chief executive Jane Davidson, explained: “I took this step because as an organisation we are committed to providing good quality care, and as a direct result of the complaint reported on by the Scottish Public Sector Ombudsman”, explained Jane.

“The observations of the inspectors provide us with an independent, robust view of the quality of care we provide.”

The report identifies eight areas of good practice, commends the person-centred, learning culture, enthusiasm for change and improvement, and identifies 12 areas for improvement.

NHS Borders chairman, John Raine said; “This report is encouraging, constructive and helpfully identifies the areas in which there is scope for improvement.

“The recognition of our ongoing work around leadership and governance as an area of good practice, and the change to an increasingly person centred culture is endorsed by the positive feedback gathered by the inspectors from patients, families and carers.”