Airedale Hospital has been praised for the way it treats elderly patients in a national report by a health watchdog.

The State of Care report published yesterday by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), highlights the findings of an unannounced visit to the Steeton hospital last year, which focused on whether patients, particularly vulnerable older people, were treated with dignity and respect and whether their nutritional needs were being met.

The hospital is praised for piloting a scheme – known as the Butterfly scheme – to help patients who have memory loss due to dementia.

The scheme provides staff with practical advice to make sure they are meeting patients’ individual needs by using a five point plan, known as REACH – Remind, Explain, Arrange, Check and History.

The report says: “We saw evidence of staff following this plan during our visit and staff told us that they had received bespoke training on this scheme.

“We observed staff respecting the privacy and dignity of patients while talking to them and helping them in their daily activities. Patients we spoke with were very positive about their experiences of care and treatment.”

Rob Dearden, director of nursing at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, said: “It is very important to us that our patients and their families are treated with dignity and respect when experiencing our care and services. We welcome the findings of the Care Quality Commission and while we are delighted to be highlighted for our good practice we must never become complacent and we will continue to listen to our patients and their families about what matters to them.”

The CQC report examines all care sectors for the first time and focuses on whether people receiving care are treated with respect and dignity.

Based on the evidence of more than 13,000 inspections, the report suggests that pressures on care services are increasing the risks of poor or unsafe care for people who are less able to speak up for themselves and those, who as a result of their circumstances, are more vulnerable.

David Behan, chief executive of the CQC, said: “Health and care services need to rise to the challenge of responding to the increasingly complex conditions suffered by our ageing population.

“That means delivering care that is based on the person’s needs, not care that suits the way organisations work. It also means that different services need to work well together in an integrated way that meets the best interests of the people who use these services.

“CQC will use its increasing knowledge and understanding, gained through thousands of inspections of services, to spot growing trends that are directly leading to poor care.

“Where we find standards are not being met we require improvements and we will use our enforcement powers where necessary to tackle issues such as staff shortages or the failure of service providers to involve people in decisions about their own care.”

The Telegraph & Argus has been lobbying for elderly patients to be treated with dignity though a campaign called With Respect.