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PLACE assessment

Patient Led Assessment of the Care Environment - PLACE


The Department of Health and the NHS Commissioning Board require all hospitals, hospices and independent treatment centres to undertake an annual assessment of the quality of services and condition of buildings. These assessments are referred to as Patient Led Assessments of the Care Environment (PLACE), and they replace the Patient Experience Action Team (PEAT) assessments.

The assessments take place between April and June, with sites assessed against four categories:

  • Cleanliness
  • Condition, appearance and maintenance
  • Privacy, dignity and wellbeing
  • Food.

The Trust's overall score has been above the national average in all four categories - please refer to the full reports and individual site scores under 'Related Publications'.

The revised assessment process requires that as a minimum fifty percent of the assessment teams are made up of patient assessors. These were the first assessments using the new process, and although they ran very well on the day, the patient assessors expressed their concerns with regard to the volume of information they were given and the length of the checklists that needed to be completed. It was felt that this detracted from an overall assessment of the environment from the patient's point of view, based on 'reasonableness' within the context of a busy working hospital.

Throughout the assessments, the input of the patient assessors was invaluable in ensuring a transparent, credible, impartial and robust process of evaluation and appraisal.

The results were provided to the Quality and Healthcare Governance Committee in November, and can be viewed under 'Related Publications'. The report includes a gap analysis which has formed the basis of an improvement plan to identify the costs and the feasibility of addressing the issues highlighted by the assessment process. Overall, the assessments have been successful and have set a benchmark against which we can make improvements.

'I would like to thank all the staff for my treatment and their professionalism.'

Patient, Cardiology Department, Bishop Auckland Hospital