Hospitals across Torbay and South Devon have received some top ratings in a report published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre.

Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, which runs five community hospitals stretching from Brixham to Dawlish, as well as Torbay Hospital, has recently been assessed for the patient-led PLACE.

The annual self-assessments, which took place earlier in the year, are referred to as PLACE which stands for ‘Patient-Led Assessments of the Care Environment’. The assessments are carried out by teams of governors, nurses, matrons, doctors, catering staff, domestic service managers, and most importantly patients and service users. PLACE assessments review key areas from a patient perspective across a range of non-clinical services within six main categories:

  • Cleanliness of the environment
  • Food and hydration – the quality and availability of food and drinks
  • Privacy, dignity and wellbeing – how well the environment protects people’s privacy, dignity and wellbeing
  • Condition, appearance and maintenance – the internal and external condition of the buildings, fixtures and fittings. How well the building meets the needs of those who use it, for example, through signage and parking facilities.
  • Dementia – the facilities provided within a dementia friendly environment
  • Disability – how accessible the facilities are

Brixham hospital scored above the national average in all six categories with patients calling it “a very well maintained hospital” and “a clean and safe environment“.  All of the hospitals in the area performed above the national average in most of the key assessment areas.

As part of the assessments, patients were asked for feedback on the condition of the setting that their care is provided in. One patient commented; “Dawlish Hospital is a modern community hospital, where patients are treated in a friendly, dignified and professional manner.  The atmosphere of the hospital is conducive to a friendly community with an excellent food service and a friendly, but professional staff”.

The assessments did identify some areas for improvement and as part of the Trusts’ commitment to providing the highest quality of care, over the next 12 months a number of minor improvement works will be carried out.

Karen Robertson, Associate Director of Estates and Facilities from Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“For patients, visiting hospital can be a worrying time and environment, food and privacy and dignity are all an important part of a patient’s overall experience.

“The strong results across our hospitals in Torbay and South Devon demonstrate our commitment in making the whole patient experience as comfortable as possible and ensuring we deliver the highest standard of excellence and quality of care to all those who stay in our hospitals.

“We are always grateful for the assessment results as they help us to ensure that our hospitals are the very best they can be and help us to prioritise our improvement plans. We have put together an action plan to start to undertake some improvements in areas identified in the assessments.

“I know staff at our hospitals will take pride in knowing the hard work and dedication they put in each day has helped achieve these results.”

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