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High standards heralded following annual inspection

​Service users at Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) are treated with dignity and respect and receive high quality food in clean, well-maintained buildings, the results of a rigorous inspection have shown.

The 2018 Patient-Led Assessment of the Care Environment (PLACE) showed NSFT improved on its 2017 performance in all eight inspection areas, while also scoring better than the national average recorded by all mental health trusts:

 Trust score 2017Trust score 2018National average for mental health trusts
Organisational food90.96%98.35%88.8%
Ward food97.99%99.75%92.3%
Privacy dignity and wellbeing92.48%94.52%91.0%
Condition appearance and maintenance97.47%98.20%95.4%


The inspection team, which included patient representatives, visited nine sites across Norfolk and Suffolk earlier this year. These included Hellesdon Hospital, the Norvic Clinic and the Julian Hospital in Norwich, the Fermoy Unit in King's Lynn, Northgate Hospital in Great Yarmouth, Woodlands in Ipswich and Wedgwood House in Bury St Edmunds.

Their findings saw year-on-year improvements in every single area, with the most significant coming in the food and disability categories.

Julie Cave, Managing Director at NSFT, said: "Ensuring that our service users and patients can enjoy good quality food in clean, well-kept, dementia-friendly buildings is a priority for NSFT, and can also have a big impact on the experience which people have when accessing our services.

"We are pleased that these results show we have improved in every area compared to 2017, as well as out-performing the national average.

"We have invested significantly in improving the environments from which we deliver care, spending around £6.7m since 2016 on creating single bedrooms and quiet rooms, improving lighting, installing new windows and making our wards safer by removing ligature risks.

"However, there are always things we could do better and we will continue to focus on areas where further improvements can be made so that we can improve still further in next year's inspection."

Every NHS organisation completes PLACE annually, with patients, service users, Healthwatch members, staff and the public all forming part of the inspection team. They look in detail at the quality, taste and aroma of the food which is available, levels of cleanliness and the general maintenance of the buildings in which services are provided.

The assessors also consider the steps each organisation takes to ensure the privacy, dignity and wellbeing of its patients, as well as the work which has been done to meet the needs of patients with dementia, such as using dementia-friendly colour schemes.

Caption: Julie Cave, Managing Director at NSFT

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