Consistency and confidence in Patient Led Assessments of the Care Environment (PLACE)

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Summary of report content

This report by Healthwatch York highlights the role of Patient Led Assessments of the Care Environment (PLACE), and how the process can be improved to give more consistency and confidence to those involved in the assessments, including the wider public. Whilst Healthwatch York volunteers put themselves forward for PLACE assessments 2013 and 2014, they later requested a debriefing session and, through this report, asked for Healthwatch to make recommendations to improve transparency, confidence and consistency in the process overall. The concerns raised about the process were the results of PLACE visits arranged by three different provides, all of whom had a very different approach. It was felt by the volunteers that there was an obvious difference in the pre-visit training, for example, the briefing, which was not always attended by the staff, was varied according to the provider. Although the teams were meant to be led by a ‘leader’ in some instances they were ‘staff’ led, an approach which felt more like a 'led' assessment rather than a 'patient-led' one. There was apprehension felt about how much PLACE volunteers were really ‘listened to’ and whether their comments were recorded properly or not. The report also highlights concerns after the PLACE visits were done. Volunteers were not directed how and where to raise concerns if they had any about the assessments. They felt it would be helpful to include this information within the pre-visit briefing, at the beginning of each assessment visit. They wanted clear information about when and how to flag issues to both the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) and the Care Quality Commission. The report lists recommendations to NHS England and to all the providers that conducted the PLACE assessments.

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General details

Report title 
Consistency and confidence in Patient Led Assessments of the Care Environment (PLACE)
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch York
Date of publication 
Thursday, 12 March, 2015
Date evidence capture began 
Thursday, 5 February, 2015
Date evidence capture finished 
Thursday, 5 February, 2015
Type of report 
Key themes 
Cleanliness hygiene and infection control
Complaints procedure
Food and nutrition
Health and safety
Public involvement
Quality of care
Quality of catering
Quality of regulation
Quality of staffing
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Staff attitudes
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Primary research method used 
Focus group
How was the information collected? 
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Secondary care services 
Acute services with overnight beds
Acute services without overnight beds / listed acute services with or without overnight beds

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Does the information include staff's views? 
Does the information include other people's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.