Older people’s inspection at Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh

NHS Lothian has welcomed the findings of the latest care for older people unannounced inspection which took place at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh in February.

The report, carried out by Health Improvement Scotland, highlighted a number of areas of strength and shows the ongoing commitment to improving the care of older people within Lothian.


Amongst the areas of strength highlighted in the report were the range of specialist services NHS Lothian has in place to support older people’s care, the use of dementia champions and  the fact that all patients were treated with compassion, respect and dignity.


Melanie Hornett, Nurse Director, NHS Lothian, said: “Health Improvement Scotland highlighted a number of areas of strength during their care for older people unannounced inspection which took place at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.


“It is pleasing to note that significant progress has been made since our previous inspection and, while we know there is always more to do, we are now regarded by Health Improvement Scotland as performing well in how we care for older people.


“We have worked extremely hard to improve on the care older people receive when attending our hospitals and we will continue to build on the good work that has been done.”


Other areas of good practice, such as protected mealtimes for patients, the use of care rounding and the work of the Emergency Department in adapting to the needs of older people, were also specified in the report.


89% of people surveyed by the inspectors considered the care that they had received to be good.


One patient stated that they “could not ask for better help.” Whilst another thought that the care and attention they received had been “excellent”.


There were some areas that the inspectors felt could be improved upon and NHS Lothian has now completed a formal action plan to deal with these, with the majority of actions having already been completed.


Melanie Hornett continued: “We are rolling out a programme of environmental improvements making wards more dementia friendly and are currently improving the facilities for patients with dementia including improving colour schemes within wards to make it easier for patients to identify locations and facilities like bathrooms.


 “We have invested considerably in dementia training for large numbers of our staff and we are also reviewing the excellent work our many dedicated volunteers can play in the care of patients with dementia.


“Assessing, developing and improving how we work are fundamental to what we do and we are committed to providing high quality, safe and person-centred care for everyone.”




Notes to Editors



  • Protected mealtimes are periods when non-essential clinical and non-clinical activities stop to enable nurses, ward based teams, catering staff and volunteers to serve food and give assistance and support to patients. In order to maximise the benefits to patients, from the mealtime experience in all areas where food is served, clinical staff are required to prepare themselves, the environment and their patients prior to the service of food. It is acknowledged that in many clinical settings essential activity will continue.


  • Care rounding is a structure approach to deliver timely person centred care. It is anticipatory and focused on essential aspects of patient comfort and safety. It has been successfully piloted across areas within NHS Lothian and feedback highlights that it improves the patient experience.


Issued: 11 April 2013

David Ridd

Communications Manager

NHS Lothian


0131 465 5648

07730 616 435