Patient Lead Assessment of the Care Environment (PLACE) Programme September 2022

August 3, 2022


Good environments matter. Every NHS patient should be cared for with compassion and dignity in a clean, safe environment. Where standards fall short, they should be able to draw it to the attention of managers and hold the service to account. PLACE assessments will provide motivation for improvement by providing a clear message, directly from patients, about how the environment or services might be enhanced.

The assessments of hospital environments involve teams of patient assessors who are local residents, responsible for evaluating the quality of clinical care provided in the hospitals. The assessors evaluate various factors such as privacy, dignity, cleanliness, food, and building maintenance. Recently, the assessments have also included an evaluation of how well the environment can support the care of individuals with disabilities or dementia.

PLACE assessments focus exclusively on the environment in which care is delivered and do not cover clinical care provision or how well staff are doing their job.

Want to be a patient assessor?

The assessments give patients and the public a voice to have more influence over the way their local health and care services are run and in the way in which they are held to account.

Assessment teams are a collaboration between staff and patient assessors, with patient assessors making up at least 50 per cent of the assessment team. Anyone who uses the service can be a patient assessor, including current patients, their family and visitors, carers, patient advocates or patient council members. NHS foundation trust governors can also be patient assessors.

Staff working in a hospital cannot undertake assessments there as patient assessors, though they are able to act as patient assessors at hospitals in other NHS trusts or elsewhere. Similarly, those who have recently left employment in a hospital/trust should not return as a patient assessor until a suitable period (normally two years) has elapsed.

Training is available and expressions of interest is encouraged from patients with diverse backgrounds.

Training sessions will be in late August. All travel expenses will be covered together with any reasonable costs by agreement.

If you are interested in becoming a patient Assessor or just want to find out more please contact Elizabeth Mackie, Volunteer and Community Liaison Manager via or call: 07794 097719

You can read more about the programme here

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