University Hospital North Midlands exceeds national average for patient scores of hospital environment


For a second consecutive year, University Hospitals of North Midlands has exceeded the national average in all eight of the patient-led assessments of the care environment (PLACE) review indicators at both its hospital sites at Royal Stoke and County Hospital in Stafford.

The categories cover everything from an overall cleanliness score through to disability access and food.

The assessments see local people go into hospitals as part of teams to assess how the environment supports patient’s privacy and dignity, food, cleanliness and general building maintenance. It focuses entirely on the care environment. The assessments take place every year, and results show how hospitals are performing nationally and locally.

Rob Beddis and Margaret Foulkes, patient assessors, who inspected Royal Stoke University Hospital reported a 100 per cent positive response from the patients they spoke to about the care and compassion they were receiving.

“We’ve never seen such dedicated staff in every single area and although the areas are very busy, every single ward area greeted us with a friendly welcome and a smile. The staff are clearly working together very well in teams, from the cleaners to the head of the department. We definitely saw a more positive attitude from staff this year and we were very impressed with the West Building and the older estate considering its age and layout. There was a definite improvement on site overall across each of PLACE domains from last year. The food on the wards that we tasted was excellent,” they said.

County Hospital, which received 100 per cent for cleanliness for the second year running, was inspected by patient assessors John Duggan and David Hardy. They said the hospital was “immaculately clean” and the environment was “calm and supported patients’ privacy and dignity very well.”

They added: “The patient care we saw was second to none with very dedicated medical, nursing and support staff who were very open and welcoming and who should be proud of their work.

“The grounds and gardens were also exceptionally well kept by the grounds team and the food we tasted on the wards was superb. It was evident that all the teams worked together to care for their patients and the continuity of staff on each area was noticeable and paid off. We felt very confident about the environment we saw.”

Lorraine Whitehead, Director of Estates, Facilities and PFI, said: “These assessments are incredibly valuable as they provide us with an external view as to how we’re performing in a number of different areas. We are delighted to achieve such high scores, which reflect the Trust’s commitment to ensuring that patients are cared for with compassion and dignity in a clean, safe environment and appropriate recognition is given to how important the environment is to providing high quality, safe and effective patient care.”

She added: “The successful partnership with our PFI partners Project Co and Sodexo and the positive way in which clinical and non-clinical teams work together, as one team, is evidenced in the results achieved, as is the hard work and dedication of all non-clinical staff in delivering high quality non-clinical services. The second year of achieving a 100% score on cleaning for County Hospital is particularly pleasing.”

The 2019 PLACE scores for UHNM in full are below:

· Cleanliness Score: 99.95% (National Average: 98.6%)

· Food Score: 95.03% (National Average: 32.2%)

· Privacy, Dignity and Wellbeing Score: 91.49% (National Average: 86.1%)

· Condition Appearance and Maintenance Score: 99.56% (National Average:96.4%)

· Dementia Score: 91.21% (National Average: 80.7%)

· Disability Score: 92.97% (National Average: 82.5%)