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Patient assessments of NHS food, cleanliness and other non-clinical aspects of hospital care published today

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Patient assessments of NHS food, cleanliness and other non-clinical aspects of hospital care published today

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

Published by NHS Digital, Patient-Led Assessments of the Care Environment (PLACE) 2019 – England1 involves local people (known as Patient Assessors) going into hospitals as part of teams to assess how the environment supports the provision of clinical care.

They assess such things as privacy and dignity, food, cleanliness and general building maintenance and the extent to which the environment is able to support the care of those with a disability and/or dementia.

The assessments take place every year, and results are published to help drive improvements in the care environment. The results show how hospitals are performing both nationally and in relation to other hospitals providing similar services.

The PLACE collection underwent a national review, which started in 2018 and concluded in summer 2019. The question set has been significantly refined and revised, and guidance documents have been updated.

The results from the 2019 report are therefore not comparable with the findings in any previous PLACE reports.

The PLACE Disability assessment2 focusses 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 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)3.

Today's report covers the assessments for 2019.


Read the full report:  

Patient-Led Assessments of the Care Environment (PLACE) 2019 - England

Notes for editors

    1. 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.
    2. The Disability assessment looks at specific disability-related criteria and is not a full comprehensive environmental disability assessment.
    3. 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.

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Last edited: 29 January 2020 10:46 am