NURSES in Huddersfield are to look at changing to hourly ward rounds.
The nursing staff at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary already visit wards at least every two hours.
But officials have now confirmed they will examine comments made by Prime Minister David Cameron and look at stepping up the checks – if patients want them to do so.
The Infirmary said they were currently implementing rounds to “patient need”.
Helen Thomson, Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust’s Director of Nursing, said: “We do rounds according to patient need and a minimum of two hourly.
“Delivering safe and quality care to our patients continues to be the top priority at Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust.
“Over the past two years we have worked hard to improve the quality of care our patients receive at ward level. We will continue to listen to the feedback from our patients and make the changes that improve their quality of care and their experience in our hospitals.”
Mr Cameron said that most patients were happy with NHS care but there was a “real problem” in some hospitals with people not getting food and drink or being treated with respect.
He said the Government was going to “put right” the problem after the Care Quality Commission found issues with dignity and respect in hospitals up and down the country.
In October, the CQC found a fifth of NHS hospitals are breaking the law on care of the elderly and half of hospitals are failing to provide all-round good nutrition to elderly patients while 40% do not offer dignified care.
In a recent bid to improve care across wards, Royal Infirmary officials are training staff to become health champions and have even designated a role for a “dignity champion” – who will work frequently with the elderly.
In his announcement, the PM also suggested that the public will also lead inspections of hospital wards, with local people becoming part of teams assessing cleanliness, dignity and nutrition.
As part of a health fair, Infirmary staff ran open days for the public to have behind-the-scenes tours of the MRI scanner suite and the X-ray department.
His plans include a new “friends and family test” which will also ask whether patients, carers and staff would recommend their hospital to friends and family.
The results will be published and hospital leaders who fail the test will be held to account.
Mr Cameron’s announcement is intended to mean nurses can focus on “patients not paperwork” while all hospitals will be expected to implement regular ward rounds “to systematically and routinely check that patients are comfortable, are properly fed and hydrated”.
Mr Cameron said: “If we want dignity and respect, we need to focus on nurses and the care they deliver.
“Somewhere in the last decade the health system has conspired to undermine one of this country’s greatest professions”.
Royal College of Nursing chief executive and general secretary Dr Peter Carter said: “Nurses working in every field have one thing in common – they chose the profession because they want to care for people.
“The profession will welcome the moves to free up nurses to put care first, and to focus all their energies on the needs of their patients.”