AN army of inspectors, including patients, has helped to give Fairfield and North Manchester hospitals a clean bill of health.

They visited hospital wards to review the standards of cleanliness and the environment for patients.

A total of 80 patient assessors, 72 staff assessors, five external assessors and representatives from the Department of Health, attended the hospitals governed by Pennine Acute Trust during the summer.

It was part of the Government’s new patient-led inspection regime called PLACE (Patient-led Assessments of the Care Environment).

Each hospital trust in the country received a visit by a PLACE team to inspect the premises and facilities from the patients’ perspective.

The assessments cover:

  • Cleanliness of premises
  • Condition, appearance and maintenance of internal and external facilities
  • All aspects of privacy, dignity and wellbeing of facilities
  • Food and hydration relating to the catering service for patients and visitors, including taste and temperature of food

Results from the PLACE assessments show that Pennine Acute Trust is delivering above-average standards and patient assessors were complimentary about the services offered.

The trust recruited its own patient and staff assessors in line with the PLACE policy, so that patient assessors have a voice in the standard of healthcare facilities.

Paul Roberts, from the Department of Health, was part of the PLACE assessment at Fairfield Hospital. He said: “I was surprised by the number of patient representatives and their enthusiasm at being involved. I was impressed with every aspect that was examined in the assessment.

“The food was good and well presented, and the wards I visited were clean. Staff were always pleasant, courteous and helpful, and were a credit to the Trust.”

Patient John Wright, who took up the role of lead PLACE assessor, said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved in these hospital site assessments, and thank the patients for their co-operation during the inspections at all five sites.”

A report and summary action plan have been placed on the public pages of the trust’s website as a requirement of PLACE.

PLACE 2014 will commence on March 3 and finish on May 30, with the scores achieved published by NHS England later in the year.