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The quality of hospital food, the cleanliness of wards and the privacy and dignity of patients at the county’s hospitals are to be put under the microscope by members of the public in the coming months.
Teams made up local people who have had experience of their local hospital as a user will carry out spot checks on the county’s hospitals as part of a government initiative to drive improvements to hospital environments.
Called the Patient Led Assessment of the Care Environment (PLACE) programme, the inspections of hospital facilities focus on non-clinical issues and look at how the care environment supports patients’ privacy and dignity, food, cleanliness and general building maintenance and decor.
The result of the teams’ unannounced assessments will be published.
Those organising the visits in Herefordshire are on the lookout for more volunteers who, as well as commenting on the general cleanliness and décor, will also have the opportunity to pass judgement on the quality of hospital food.
“This is a great opportunity for local people to play a key role in helping us maintain high standards for our patients,” said interim director of nursing at Wye Valley NHS Trust, Denise Price
The Trust runs the County Hospital and Hillside in Hereford as well as the community hospitals at Ross-on-Wye, Leominster and Bromyard.
“We welcome the opportunity to open our doors for these unannounced inspections and look forward to receiving feedback from the people that count - patients and local people, particularly those who have experience of our hospitals, such as relatives and friends of patients.”
The inspections are due to begin soon, although no date can be given as they are unannounced.
“Guidance will be given to the assessors - they are not there to comment on the quality of clinical or medical treatment, but are there to gain a general impression of the hospital,” added Denise.
Guidance from the NHS Commissioning Board stipulates that current hospital staff, and those who have worked for the hospital in the last two years, cannot become members of the inspection teams.
Representatives from local voluntary sector groups and Herefordshire Healthwatch are welcome to become assessors along with members of the public.
Anyone interesting in becoming an assessor should contact Linda Ward at the County Hospital on 01432 364005 or e-mail Linda: firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors WVT:
- Wye Valley NHS Trust is the provider health services across Herefordshire and beyond. The Trust exists to improve the wellbeing, independence and health of the people we serve. We are the leading provider of health care in Herefordshire.
- By working closely with our partners, we can make good our promise to deliver a quality of care we would want for ourselves, our families and our friends.
- With an estimated annual turnover of around £160 million, we employ around 2,700 plus staff. We aim to build new relationships between our staff, patients, service users and their carers with the wider community.
For further information please contact:
John Burnett, Communication and Engagement Manager, Wye Valley NHS Trust: 01432 372928 or Fiona Gurney, Communications Assistant 01432 355444 ext. 5105.