PLACE assessments underway in Lancashire

Healthwatch Lancashire staff and volunteers are currently participating in assessments of the environments for NHS hospitals throughout Lancashire.

PLACE assessment at Blackpool Victoria HospitalGood environments matter and every NHS patient should be cared for with compassion and dignity in a clean, safe environment. PLACE (Patient-led Assessments of the Care Environment) identify how the environment or services might be enhanced from the perspective of patients. Healthwatch Lancashire volunteers are taking part to represent the public voice.

Healthwatch volunteers, staff and directors will be taking part in PLACE assessments across the county over the coming weeks 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 and does not cover clinical care provision or how well staff are doing their job.

Gill Brown, Healthwatch Lancashire Chief Executive, said: “PLACE assessments provide a valuable insight into how environments can be improved from the patient’s point-of-view. It is important that the feedback received during the assessment is not only listened to but that any recommendations for improvement are acted upon to ensure that patients are cared for in a clean and safe environment.”

Healthwatch Lancashire has recruited a team of volunteers who help the organisation to represent the public voice for health and social care in Lancashire and many take part in these assessments.

Since February Healthwatch Lancashire have already taken part in assessments at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, Airedale General Hospital, Calderstones Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Pendle Community Hospital, Pendleview Unit at Royal Blackburn Hospital, Avondale Unit at Royal Preston Hospital and Ramsey Healthcare at Fulwood Hall Hospital.

PLACE assessments take place every year and results are reported publicly to help drive improvements in the care environment. The results will show how hospitals are performing nationally and locally.