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Latest patient-led assessments of healthcare premises also consider non-clinical aspects of care for patients with disabilities

10 August 2016: Results are published today of annual patient-led assessments of non-clinical elements of care, such as catering services, cleanliness and waiting facilities.

*NHS Digital must be quoted as the source of these figures

*Regional data are available within this report

Patient-Led Assessments of the Care Environment (PLACE)2 published by NHS Digital is now in its fourth year, and for the first time the assessments have considered how well healthcare environments support the provision of care for those with a disability.

The first PLACE Disability assessment3 focuses on issues of access including wheelchair, mobility (e.g. handrails), signage and provision of visual/ audible appointment alert systems, hearing loops, and aspects relating to food and food service.

PLACE assessments also evaluate the quality of the patient environment and provide information on non-clinical services such as food, hydration, the extent to which the provision of hospital care with privacy and dignity is supported and whether the premises are equipped to meet the needs of people with dementia against a specified range of criteria.

PLACE assessments are undertaken by teams of NHS and private/independent health care providers, with at least half of each assessing team made up of members of the public(known as patient assessors)4.

Today's report covers the assessments for 2016, with comparable data for 2015.

Read the full report at: 


Notes to editors

1. NHS Digital is the national information and technology provider for the health and care system. Our team of information analysis, technology and project management experts create, deliver and manage the crucial digital systems, services, products and standards upon which health and care professionals depend. Our vision is to harness the power of information and technology to make health and care better. NHS Digital is the new trading name for the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC). We provide 'Information and Technology for better health and care'. Find out more about our role and remit at

2. The aim of PLACE assessments is to provide a snapshot of how an organisation is performing against a range of non-clinical activities which impact on the patient experience of care - cleanliness; the condition, appearance and maintenance of healthcare premises; the extent to which the environment supports the delivery of care with privacy and dignity;the quality and availability of food and drink, and the extent to which premises are equipped and able to meet the needs of people with dementia and/or disability against specified criteria. The criteria included in PLACE assessments are not standards, but they do represent both those aspects of care which patients and the public have identified as important, and good practice as identified by professional organisations whose members are responsible for the delivery of these services, including but not limited to the Healthcare Estates Facilities Managers Association, the Association of Healthcare Cleaning Professionals and the Hospital Caterers Association.

3. The Disability assessment is new to the annual PLACE assessment therefore no comparable data are available for 2015. The assessment looks at specific disability-related criteria and is not a full comprehensive environmental disability assessment.

4. The size of an assessment team is decided entirely by the organisation undertaking the assessment. NHS Digital stipulate that the number of staff should not exceed the number of patient assessors. This means, in practice, that the smallest team would be three (one member of staff, two patient assessors) but there is no upper limit.

5. For media enquires please contact or telephone 0300 30 33 888.

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