Patient Led Assessments of the Care Environment (PLACE)

Patient Led Assessments of the Care Environment (PLACE)

We are currently recruiting volunteer patient assessors for the 2015/16 patient led assessments of the care environment (PLACE).

What is PLACE?

The North Middlesex University Hospital now uses patient assessors to help inspect our hospital environment.

The Department of Health and NHS England recommend that hospitals undertake an annual assessment of the quality of their non-clinical services and buildings; these assessments are called patient-led assessments of the care environment (PLACE).

The assessments are ‘patient-led’ to ensure that patients’ views are given the highest priority and volunteer patient assessors make up at least half the assessment team. Assessors visit different parts of the hospital in order to assess:

  • cleanliness
  • the condition of the buildings and fixtures (inside and out)
  • how well the building meets the needs of those use it, e.g. signage
  • the quality and availability of food and drinks
  • how well the environment protects people’s privacy and dignity

How long will the assessment take?

Assessments take a minimum of four hours and assessors will be required to attend one of two assessment days. Assessors also need to attend a training event prior to the main audit, which takes around four hours.

Refreshments will be provided and parking /travel costs reimbursed.

All assessment days will involve lots of walking around the hospital, so please advise us if you will require assistance.

Who can become a patient assessor?
People who use the hospital can apply to become an assessor, eg,

  • patients
  • relatives and carers
  • patient advocates and friends
  • volunteers
  •  trust members
  • trust governors
  • we will also involve our local Healthwatch

The important thing is to provide a patient view.

Current or recent members of staff (who have left the Trust within the last two years) cannot act as a patient assessor.

Patient assessors should broadly reflect our patient population.

What skills/training do I need?

PLACE volunteers should have a common-sense, unbiased and practical approach and be able to be objective when assessing and gathering information. They should provide a patient’s view of the hospital.

Volunteers will be trained alongside our own staff. Training will include:

  • patient confidentiality and ward protocols
  • hand hygiene and infection control procedures
  • content of the assessment / checklists
  • the scoring process
  • role of the patient assessors
  • completing the assessment sheets
  •  information about the hospital
  • what to do in an emergency
  • a practice assessment and food sampling

Contact us. Apply now!
We are currently recruiting volunteer patient assessors to join the PLACE team. 

If you would like to volunteer, or would like further information about becoming a patient assessor, please contact Jacqui Wilkie on 020 8887 3194 or email


Last updated January 2018