Thumbs-up for Musgrove’s care environment

Patients at Musgrove Park have given a thumbs-up to the food and care environment at the hospital.

Figures published by NHS England’s annual patient-led assessments of the care environment (PLACE) show that Musgrove Park Hospital has been rated above the national average in all categories.

The hospital was rated 99.47 per cent for cleanliness, 93.43 for food, 86.55 for privacy, dignity and wellbeing, 95.32 for condition, appearance and maintenance, 79.15 for dementia and 79.52 for disability.

As part of the assessment a group of local people walked around the hospital to check whether the environment supported patients’ privacy and dignity. They also looked at the quality of food, cleanliness of the hospital and general building maintenance.

Hayley Peters, director of patient care, said she was very pleased that the hospital’s care environment had been so highly rated by its patients.

“To be above the national average in every category really is an outstanding achievement, and shows that our services are having a positive impact on our patients’ experience of care. It is also a testament to the excellent work and dedication of our staff.

“It is very important to us that we offer healthy and nutritional food and drink to our patients and visitors and this is an area we consistently perform strongly in, having won a national award last year.”

PLACE assessments were introduced by the NHS in April 2013 as a way of seeking feedback from patients themselves on how the environment and services at hospitals and other NHS centres could be improved. They are led by patients, with relatives and carers also taking part.

For the first time this year, the PLACE assessment looked at how patients with dementia are cared for.

She continued: “At Musgrove we have been working hard to make the hospital dementia-friendly and during this year’s Dementia Awareness Week we actively asked patients and staff for feedback on how we could improve the hospital environment for people with dementia.

“We have already refurbished our Gould Ward, which now uses pictures of local landmarks to help patients to identify their beds, and we will look to implement some of the other ideas across the hospital, such as clearer signage, contrasting backdrops or rails and doors that blend in with walls for staff areas over the next few months.

“Although our PLACE results are very pleasing, we know we can’t be complacent as there are always further improvements that we can make to our care environment.”

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