Quality Charter Mark in Elderly Care at Weston General Hospital

ContactDebra Parsons, Matron Lead for inpatient Dementia Services, Weston Area Health NHS Trust
AddressGrange Rd, Uphill, Avon, BS23 4TQ

What is being done?

Three wards at Weston General Hospital have signed up to the national Quality Charter Mark in Elderly Care. This is a national programme in its first wave of applicants. The Trust was very proud to have been chosen.

The quality mark requires a multidisciplinary team approach to appraising current services delivered, reviewing the environment, reviewing the teams’ knowledge and skills and involving patient representatives. Members of the ward teams were invited to London to undertake specific audit training and on their return were required to audit each other’s wards.

Patient’s representatives were invited from the Trusts Patients Council to visit the wards and share a meal time with the patients and then return to carry out an observational audit on the environment.

Questionnaires were given out to all patients over the age of 65yrs and returned directly to the national project team on a weekly basis.

Staff were given questionnaires and responses were sent electronically to the national project team, as were questionnaires from the Ward Sister and Lead Consultant.

A retrospective 4 week ward roster was submitted, demonstrating staffing levels and skill mix.

Although a general elderly care Charter mark there appeared to be a real focus on Dementia care and staff attitude towards Dementia patients.

What is new and different?

Much debate was had during the multidisciplinary meetings when completing the MDT questionnaires, many issues arose that had not been considered before, views from the consultants and the Allied Health Professionals did not always fit with the Nursing staffs and discussion and a degree of flexibility and compromise was required before submitting the data. This method of a meeting although patient focused was not about an individual patient and allowed for an honest and open conversation about the services generally delivered within the individual wards.

The Patients representatives spent 45 minutes eating and chatting with patients, getting a real feel for the ward, with the emphasis on the environment at lunchtime as well as the actual diet and nutrition. The immediate informal feedback was very encouraging for the ward sisters.

What difference does this seem to be making?

All the staff are very proud of their achievements so far and have the momentum to continue to strive for further improvement. Teams have taken real ownership of their ward environments and the services they currently deliver. The opportunity of the patient representatives have given the ward teams an insight into the patient’s world and have shared some valuable insights.

Download an article written by Sister Kate Rimmer, Steepholm Ward, for the National Projects Teams newsletter on the Quality Mark for Elder care


Main ward spacious and clean, well defined Male/Female wards and toilets

Excellent dining space

Bells answered promptly and staff always at hand

Patients extremely well cared for and patients commented on excellent patient care

Good team with an understanding of individual patient needs patients knew the staff and staff knew their patients

Excellent meal and dining facilities.

Comments from the Patients reps for the Stroke Unit