Southampton NHS Treatment Centre, run by Care UK, has been given top marks by a new body that inspects hospitals from the patient’s point of view.
The recently published report praises the centre, which is based on the Royal South Hants Hospital site in the city, for its attention to care and cleanliness.
In January 2012, Prime Minister David Cameron called for a new patient-led inspection of hospitals’ environments and in June the treatment centre underwent its first Patient Led Assessment of Care Environment (PLACE). As the team is led by patients, the assessment places patients’ views at the centre of the review.
The scores awarded to the centre by the assessors were:
- Cleanliness : 100 percent
- Food : 93.9 percent
- Privacy, Dignity and Wellbeing : 91 percent
- Condition, Appearance and Maintenance : 96.2 percent
The centre’s assessment was led by five patient assessors – specially-trained patients from the treatment centre’s patient forum – who can undertake the assessment from the patient’s perspective.
Claire Evennett, the treatment centre’s infection prevention and control lead, said: “The assessors had access to all the areas a patient would visit. We took them to the wards, to our preadmission and recovery unit, outpatients and all the other public areas of the centre.
“We were delighted when the report came back rating our standards of cleanliness at 100 percent. Each week, I walk around the hospital with the cleaning supervisor, inspecting and trying to see problems before they occur. Each area and piece of equipment has someone assigned to clean it; that way no one can assume someone else is doing it because that’s where things go wrong.”
The assessors also sampled the centre’s food. Claire said: “The assessors reported that the food service was excellent throughout, which we were delighted to hear. We frequently monitor patients’ views on the food as we know that, to them, it is an important part of their overall stay with us.”
Assessors also praised the centre’s approach to patient dignity. Claire said: “Everyone feels slightly nervous about hospital visits, they also want to feel reassured by having full knowledge of what is happening to them and they want to have a part in it. This is something we have worked very hard to achieve through monitoring the views of patients and through training programmes.”
The team recently underwent a specialist course in understanding and communicating with patients with dementia to ensure that they could offer each patient dignity and choice.
Paula Friend, hospital director at Southampton NHS Treatment Centre, said: ““The assessors’ feedback was very positive. They were very happy with our work with Care UK’s specialist dementia team to create a dementia-friendly environment within the centre and they asked us to continue with that, particularly looking at signage and area colour coding, and we certainly will be taking that up in the near future.
“I am very pleased that the team’s work was recognised by the assessors and I am delighted that patient assessment is to become a regular part of our monitoring. Truly great and effective care cannot happen without acting on the views of patients.”