HUNDREDS of patients and patients’ families in Gwent have given the thumbs up to the care they have received from the area’s nurses and healthcare support workers.

More than nine out of ten of the 701 patient surveys completed in Gwent as part of the 2013 Fundamentals of Care audit revealed that those surveyed had been “always” or “usually” satisfied with the care provided.

The audit is an annual exercise carried out across Wales to gauge the standard of care being provided by nursing staff.

It covers a wide range of issues, such as communication and information, respect, safety pain alleviation and pressure sore prevention.

Aneurin Bevan Health Board nursing staff scored highly on the matter of respecting people, with 98.3 per cent of respondents feeling that they were always or usually treated with dignity and respect.

High scores were also recorded on the cleanliness of clinical areas, and on patients’ feeling of being safe.

Patients also felt strongly that staff gave them the help they needed to be independent as they could be and wished to be.

Pain alleviation and the provision of appropriate food and drinks also scored highly, as did staff responses to patients’ toileting needs.

Scores across the 12 standards measured ranged from 85-98 per cent, with the lowest being for rest and sleep. Some patients felt wards were noisy, with other patients the main source of that noise.

Oral health and hygiene, and preventing pressure sores were two other lower scoring areas, at around 90 per cent satisfaction, where improvements are being sought.

Fundamental of Care audits are carried out across health boards, and are a valuable means of spotting problems and successful practice. Annual comparison has also been a means of judging progress, but changes in the criteria mean the latest set of results cannot be compared to previous years.

This staff audit in Gwent revealed concerns over the provision of oral health and hygiene measures.