A DEMENTIA unit has made ‘significant’ improvements just weeks after being criticised for staffing shortages which impacted on patient care.

The Ramsey Unit at Furness General Hospital has ‘significantly’ improved standards of patient care and is now meeting three of its essential standards, following an unannounced inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) on December 11.

“Throughout our observations we noted warm and reassuring care being offered to patients,” says the latest report.

“Once or twice when some patients became a little confused and disorientated staff spent time to comfort and reassure them.

“Staff understood patient's needs, for example one patient was identified by staff as being not as keen with the more lively activity and guided them to a quieter area.

“It was clear that staff were more adept and skilled in supporting and caring for people with dementia.”

The unit is now meeting its criteria for ‘consent to care and treatment’, ‘care and welfare of people who use our services’ and ‘staffing’.

The CQC has also confirmed that warning notices imposed on the ward have been lifted.

“We have been able to make a great deal of changes in such a short timescale and what is really important now that this momentum continues,” said Claire Molloy, chief executive of the Cumbria NHS Trust.

“It is the intention of the ward manager to create a centre of excellence in dementia care for the people of Furness and I will do everything I can to support her ambition.”

The unit was given two warning notices, following an inspection at the 15-bed unit on October 10, in relation to the care and welfare of patients and staffing

“The speed which we have managed to turn the situation at Ramsey around is a testament to the dedication of the staff,” added Ms Molloy.

“We will continue to monitor the situation to ensure that staffing levels are maintained.”