PLACE Report 2013

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Patient-Led Assessments of the Care Environment (PLACE) results

PLACE 2014 - The Trust is currently seeking patient assessors for 2014. If you would like to take part please email: Michelle Davis. PLACE 2014 will be carried out between 3 March - 30 May 2014.

Results for 2013 

1.0      Introduction

1.1      On the 6 January 2012, the Government announced the establishment of a new “Patient-Led inspection regime” to be in place by April 2013 and this programme replaces the former Patient Environment Action Team (PEAT) programme.

1.2      In accordance with the Prime Minister’s commitment to give patients a real voice in assessing the quality of the environment for care, Trusts were required to recruit patient representatives to lead the revised assessment process. All assessing teams had to include at least two patient Assessors, who must also comprise at least 50% of the overall team.

1.3      Within the Trust 50% of those involved in our Patient-Led Assessment of the Care Environment (PLACE) Assessments met the definition of ‘patient’:-

‘anyone whose relationship with the hospital is as a user rather than a provider of services’

The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) gave Trusts six weeks’ notice of the week in which assessments should be undertaken between 2nd April to 21st June 2013.

Paul Roberts, DoH “I was impressed with every aspect that was examined in the assessment. The food was good and well presented, and the wards I visited were clean. Staff were always pleasant, courteous and helpful, and were a credit to the Trust. My visit to Fairfield reinforced my belief that not all hospitals are the same”

2.0      The Process

2.1     The aim of PLACE assessments is to provide a snapshot of how an organisation is performing against a range of non-clinical activities which impact on the patient experience of care – cleanliness; the condition, appearance and maintenance of healthcare premises; the extent to which the environment supports the delivery of care with privacy and dignity; and the quality and availability of food and drink. It did not address issues of staff attitudes or behaviours. All assessments were undertaken to a standard assessment format issued by the NHS Commissioning Board.

2.2     The Trust recruited Mr John Wright as Lead-Assessor, a member of Voices4wellbeing and a hospital volunteer, for all assessments within Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust and in line with best practice wherever possible, external validators also attended including a member of the Department of Health.

2.3     The Trust was required to assess whichever is the greater; up to 10 wards, or 25% of wards. In addition all emergency departments; a minimum of 25% of out-patient departments; a representative sample of 25% of 'common' areas (e.g. corridors); external areas were also assessed.  The wards assessed were predetermined by John Wright as Lead Assessor, and the teams were only notified at the point of inspection.

2.4     The assessments cover:

  • Cleanliness of all items commonly found in healthcare premises including patient equipment; baths, toilets and showers; furniture; floors and other fixtures and fittings.
  • The of condition, appearance and maintenance of all  the above items as well as a range of other aspects of the general environment including décor, tidiness, signage, lighting (including access to natural light), linen, access to car parking (excluding the costs of car parking), waste management and the external appearance of buildings and the tidiness and maintenance of the grounds.
  •  All aspects of privacy, dignity and wellbeing includes infrastructural/organisational aspects such as provision of outdoor/recreation areas, changing and waiting facilities, access to television, radio, computers and telephones; and practical aspects such as appropriate separation of sleeping and bathroom/toilet facilities for single sex use, bedside curtains being sufficient in size to create a private space around beds and ensuring patients are appropriately dressed to protect their dignity.
  • A overview of food and hydration which includes a range of questions relating to the organisational aspects of the catering service (e.g. choice, 24-hour availability, meal times, access to menus) as well as an assessment of the food service at ward level and the taste and temperature of food.

2.5      The dates and details of the Trust assessments were as follows:



No. Staff Assess-ors

No Patient Assess-ors

8 April 2013

Floyd Unit, Birch Hill Site



25 April 2013

Rochdale Infirmary



7 May 2013 & 9 May 2013

Royal Oldham Hospital



14 May2013 &15 May 2013

North Manchester General Hospital



5 June 2013

Fairfield General Hospital



19 June 2013

Hennessey House, Clayton




John Wright, Lead Patient Assessor “Overall I felt that inspections went well, especially considering two hospital sites did not know we were coming to inspect. It was evident that the management and staff at all sites wanted their views and aspirations listened to,  this is of paramount importance that people in whichever hospital setting whether it be patient or staff to be treated with the utmost dignity and respect.”

3.0       Results

3.1      The results for the Trust are detailed below. The HSCIC have calculated a National average score from all scores submitted from NHS and non NHS organisations and provided a Trust average as well as an individual site score. The result calculated by reference to the score(points) achieved expressed as a % of the maximum score(points) which could have been achieved. No weighting has been applied to the scores.



Trust Score

National Average




Food & Hydration



Privacy, Dignity & Wellbeing



Condition & Appearance




3.3      The Trust was rated higher than the National Average on Food and Hydration, Privacy, Dignity and Wellbeing and Condition, Appearance and Maintenance and only slightly below on Cleanliness. The lowest scores where attributed to Hennessey House where facilities are managed by a third party provider and services have previously not been monitored at this unit by our organisation.

3.4      Action plans have been completed for all individual sites in conjunction with the Lead Patient Assessor and published on the Trust public pages of the internet as a requirement of the HSCIC.

3.5      Any cleaning issues were dealt with immediately and the majority of the maintenance defects have been rectified.

3.6      With regard to food and hydration issues, some of the areas where the Trust failed to gain points were related to the organisational aspects of the service i.e. number and choice of preserves, cereals that were available, where choice is not offered and if courses were served together.

3.7      A summary of the action plans is included in Appendix 1

4.0       Conclusion

Overall, the assessments have been successful and identified that the Trust is delivering above average standards. All patient assessors were very complimentary of our services and stated that they had all learnt something from their visit to our premises. 

Mrs Pam Miller

Associate Director of Facilities

October 2013

Download Appendix 1