High scores for Sheffield hospitals

Sheffield's Weston Park Hospital.
Sheffield's Weston Park Hospital.
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Sheffield’s hospitals have been given good marks as part of a pilot for a new scheme which encourages patients to act as inspectors.

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was one of the first centres to be tested under the new regime, called PLACE - or Patient-Led Assessment of the Care Environment.

The scheme gives staff and patients the opportunity to be inspectors, as part of moves to drive improvements in hospitals.

PLACE replaces the NHS’s old PEAT - Patient Environment Action Team - assessments, focusing entirely on the hospital environment and not clinical standards.

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals has now received praise in the four key areas covered by the new inspection.

The Northern General, the Royal Hallamshire including the Jessop maternity wing, and Weston Park hospitals, as well as the Beech Hill rehabilitation unit in Norfolk Park, scored over 99 per cent for cleanliness, and more than 93 per cent for privacy, dignity and wellbeing.

The facilities were given ratings of over 90 per cent for the condition, appearance and maintenance of buildings, and marks ranging from 87 to 96 per cent for food.

Kevin O’Regan, the trust’s hotel services director, said: “These assessments are a fantastic way to give patients and the public a voice that can be heard in any discussion about local standards of care. Our staff have worked extremely hard to deliver good standards.

“While we have posted an excellent set of results, we will continue to make every effort to sustain and improve our scores wherever possible, to deliver our key objective to provide high quality services for our patients.”

Mr O’Regan said food standards will be further improved with a £7 million investment in catering infrastructure.
Inspections which check on clinical standards are also being overhauled. In July, the Care Quality Commission’s new chief inspector of hospitals, Prof Sir Mike Richard, said he wanted to ‘start building a small army’ of doctors, nurses, patients and carers to inspect facilities.