Figures released today show that Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust has been ranked amongst the best performing NHS organisations’ in the country in this year’s Patient-led Assessments of the Care Environment (PLACE) assessment.

The Care Trust has received high scores from patients for the fourth year running in the system that assesses the quality of the hospital environment.  This year the Trust has scored above the national average in all of the eight PLACE (patient-led assessments of the care environment) assessment areas.

Ten assessors, made up of service users, relatives, carers, and patient advocates, carried out assessments between March and May 2016. They gave scores and comments on all areas of the care environment at Lynfield Mount Hospital and Airedale Centre for Mental Health.

The annual assessment looks at cleanliness, the quality and availability of food and drink, how well the building meets the needs of the people who use it and how well the environment protects people’s privacy and dignity.

PLACE assessors also considered how dementia friendly the patient environment is. This focused on flooring, decor and signage, but also included such things as availability of handrails and appropriate seating which can help those who have dementia.

Quality of food served to patients at the Airedale Centre for Mental Health received top marks and high praise from assessors with a score of 100 per cent.  Food quality at Lynfield Mount Hospital also scored highly with 98.81 per cent.

Richard Priestley, Operations Manager at the Care Trust, said: “The quality of meals we serve to both patients and staff is of the highest importance to us. We offer a variety of healthy menus which are all nutritionally analysed. All food is sourced in a sustainable way and freshly cooked on site by a team of qualified chefs and served by our experienced housekeepers.”

For the first year PLACE assessors looked at aspects of the environment for those with disabilities such as space for wheel chairs, hearing loops and ramps. The Care Trust received above the national average of 78.84 per cent with a score of 90.46 per cent from assessors.

Some of the assessors’ comments included:

  • “The well cared for surroundings reflect the value, dignity and respect shown to patients, visitors and clients.”
  • “Catering here is exceptionally good.”
  • “You can’t improve on perfect.”
  • “Overall a good, caring environment.”
  • “Generally impressed with the overall cleanliness.”

Areas for improvement included: updating signage on toilet doors to become more dementia friendly, re-freshening the out-patients department at Lynfield Mount Hospital including re-decorating and new furniture, and changing lighting on some areas of wards to be brighter.

Andrew Morris, Deputy Director of Estates and Facilities at the Care Trust, said: “I’m very proud of our results, especially receiving above the national average in all PLACE assessment areas. Every NHS patient should be cared for with compassion and dignity in a clean, safe environment. It can make a big difference in helping people feel better.

“Each year we keep improving and it’s a testament to the hard work and dedication of our staff. We know there are always further improvements we can make and will consider the recommendations of the assessors to see how these can be best met.”

A local improvement plan will be available on the Trust’s website in the coming weeks which takes into account assessors’ requirements. The Trust will explain in the plan how it intends to use the PLACE findings to drive further environmental improvements.