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Patients cared for in clean and dignified surrounds results show

A rigourous patient-led assessment has shown Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) is meeting high standards for the cleanliness and maintenance of its buildings, the quality of food it provides, and in ensuring the privacy and dignity of its patients.

The results of the annual Patient-Led Assessment of the Care Environment (PLACE) showed the Trust had scored better than the national average in five key areas, and was also the only NHS organisation across both Norfolk and Suffolk to score above 90% in each category.

The results in these areas also showed a year-on-year improvement, an indicator of the efforts being made within the organisation to continue to improve the experiences of its patients and its quality standards.

Leigh Howlett, NSFT’s Director of Strategy and Resources, said: “Ensuring that our service users and patients can enjoy well-kept, dementia-friendly buildings and good quality food from a clean surroundings is a priority for NSFT.

“Of course maintaining people’s privacy, dignity and wellbeing at a time when they can be extremely vulnerable is also important in helping towards better outcomes for our patients. These are also areas which have a big impact on the experience which people have when accessing our services, which is why these assessments are so important.

“We are pretty proud of these results, as we’ve not only out-performed the national average but we are the only Trust in Norfolk and Suffolk to score over 90% in each of these key areas. That is down to the hard work of our staff who have made these excellent results possible.”

Every NHS organisation completes PLACE every year, 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 across the Trust 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, while a new category has been added this year looking at the work trusts have done to help them meet the needs of patients with dementia, such as using dementia-friendly colour schemes.

Assessments took place at the nine adult inpatient NSFT sites across Norfolk, Waveney and Suffolk, with the Trust scoring higher than the national average in every area:


National average

Trust score







Privacy, dignity and wellbeing



Condition appearance & maintenance






Leigh added: “We will now concentrate on any areas where further improvements can be made with the aim of delivering even better results in next year’s assessment.”