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011 A Hospice Experience of Patient-Led Assessments of the Care and Environment
  1. Pauline Flanagan1,
  2. Nicci Williamson1,
  3. Ruth Grocott2 and
  4. Geoff Scaife2
  1. 1Douglas Macmillan Hospice, Stoke-on-Trent, UK
  2. 2Carers Forum, Douglas Macmillan Hospice, Stoke-on-Trent UK


Background/context In April 2013, the Department of Health (DH) introduced patient-led assessment of the care environment (PLACE) to give patients a strong voice in the assessment of privacy, dignity, food and cleanliness in hospitals offering NHS-funded care. Carers are eligible to undertake this assessment on behalf of the patient.

The DH and NHS Commissioning Board recommend that hospices participate in this initiative, which provides a non-technical view of the buildings and non-clinical services and is based on a visual assessment against defined criteria and guidance.


  • To undertake the first PLACE assessment of the DMH.

  • To use members of the Carers’ Forum to undertake an assessment of the organisation.

Approach used The Carers’ Forum members were invited to complete the PLACE assessment. Those involved needed to be objective, unbiased and have the confidence to be open and honest.

Two carers agreed to undertake the assessment, accompanied by the Clinical Governance Manager (CGM) and the deputy Infection Control Nurse; this gave the required PLACE Team ratio of patient to staff assessors.

The carers were classified as volunteers, underwent a standard CRB check and were issued with a name badge.

All assessors undertook training provided by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).

PLACE scoring was made against standard criteria and reflected what was seen on the day.

Outcomes DMH results were published on the HSCIC website.

The hospice is working with the PLACE team to make the assessment more applicable to hospices.

The carers felt that they were contributing to the quality process in a positive and constructive way.

Application to hospice practice Participation in a national initiative to measure quality from a patient/carer perspective.

Access to national benchmarked data, which is accessible to the CQC, NICE, NHS Commissioning Board, DoH, Local commissioning groups and local Healthwatch.

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