The Integrated Joint Board’s clinical and care governance committee heard the hospital was making progress in many areas and there was a good relationship between it and the community.
The hospital has two units – one with 20 beds for older adults requiring on-going and palliative care – and one 16 bedded specialist dementia unit.
The report stated several unannounced visits by senior nursing staff found that “the care and comfort of patients was evident”.
Neither unit had any hospital-acquired infections last year and hand hygiene was very good in both.
The units had been tasked with improving the consistency of their documentation and Unit 2 was reported to be making improvements in how its equipment is clean and well maintained. Another area highlighted was the food, fluid and nutrition indicator, which is being closely monitored to maintain improvement.
Both units showed a fairly steady number of falls, and although no falls with harm were recorded last year, a working group has been set up to look at ways to minimise the risk further by looking at the equipment the hospital has and providing more training for all staff. A decrease in patient falls when an activities coordinator was appointed on a trial basis was noted.
Last year, one complaint was received about Unit 1 and none had been received about Unit 2.
Another key area of concern was the sickness rate of staff which could have a significant impact on such a small unit and the report says it is vital that support is given to staff to manage
Enhanced dementia training has been offered to some staff in BH unit 1, while all staff were given the chance to attend stress and distress training.
Margo Biggs, who represents patients on the committee, praised the detailed report and highlighted the important role community volunteers play in offering additional services.
Deputy nurse director Ellen Hudson agreed: “The community are very, very supportive of the hospital and actively involved in any initiatives we try.”
However, Patricia Cassidy, chief officer of the IJB, which oversees health and social care in Falkirk, warned care should be taken to be clear about the hospital’s purpose.
She said: “It all sounds really positive but I am concerned that it sounds a bit like it’s a care home.
“If people need long-term care they should be in a long-term care facility and we have to be asking if people are in the right place and we are offering the right model of care.”