Three ChAD committee members were Patient Assessors at the Annual PLACE Assessments at the three hospitals where their role is to consider aspects of the care environment marking in categories of Fail, Pass or Qualified pass.
The purpose is to be independent to give patients a stronger voice by identifying what is important to them and focus on any improvements which could be made.
They are looking for good environments which are clean, in good condition and support privacy, Dignity and Well-being as well as being mindful of Disability and Dementia use.
On the 17th October, the first of the PLACE assessments commenced at Montegue Hospital.
Our team firstly visited Physiotherapy, which was very impressive; the environment was spacious with plenty of room for wheelchair access, clean and at an appropriate temperature.
Any negative findings of the care environment were few and minimal and consisted of a few stained ceiling tiles, a missing curtain and an old toilet seat (none of which would constitute to a fail).
From there we visited the Rockingham Day Unit where again only a few observations were made one in particular about privacy and dignity.
The final places were Rehab 1 and Rehab 2 where the group split into two to enable all areas to be seen and the serving of food to be observed.
In Rehab 1, there were 29 patients in total, some of whom were having their hair done or taking part in a group activity.
When the food was delivered, we ensured that all people were sat up in preparation regardless of whether they were at the bedside or in the communal areas and hand, wipes were given. After the patients had been discreetly observed, the team sampled every food option for taste, texture and presentation.
A regular issue in this ward was the lack of cutlery, which resulted in soups bowls and spoons having to be washed to enable sufficient for dessert to be served.
DONCASTER ROYAL INFIRMARY
On 22nd and 23rd October we visited Doncaster Royal Infirmary. Five groups separated to different areas of the hospital. The areas our groups visited over the two days were Communal areas, Children’s Observation and the Children’s ward. External areas, South Block, Out Patients and Physiotherapy.
It was very interesting in the Children’s ward where the food delivery was observed and sampled, whilst the catering team make very attempt to make more nutritious versions of chicken nuggets and pizza the children don’t particularly enjoy them.
Whilst the general feeling of the areas assessed over the two days were good the following more serious issues were raised. One particular corridor was extremely dirty, a full sharps bin was accessible to the general public, confidential information was left out in an area were patients passed and cleaning materials were left unattended in the children’s ward.
The final assessments were at Bassetlaw Hospital on 29th October where we visited SCABO (Special Care Baby Unit) and A2, which is the Labour and Maternity ward.
A common theme throughout the days and indeed the years of doing PLACE is around signage, terminology , inconsistency and the need for symbols depicting each department. We were informed that a business case would be put forward to see what can be done about this issue.
Plans are to collect information electronically and hold mini PLACE assessments on a more regular basis either monthly or quarterly.