SCT ranked alongside the best in the country
17 September 2014

Report ranks quality of care environment at SCT community hospitals alongside the best in the country 

The quality of the care environment at the eight community hospitals run by Sussex Community NHS Trust (SCT) in West Sussex ranks alongside the best in the land.

This is confirmed in the patient-led assessments of the care environment (PLACE) report published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).

In three of the four PLACE categories SCT’s scores are above the national average, exceeding 99 per cent in the cleanliness category.

SCT can also demonstrate big improvement in all its scores since PLACE 2013.

The national PLACE inspection offers the public a snapshot of the quality of inpatient care delivered by their local NHS in a range of non-clinical areas. These reflect aspects of care which patients and the public identify as important alongside compassion and clinical expertise. They cover:

  • Cleanliness: including bathrooms, furniture, fixtures & fittings.
  • Food & hydration: including choice, taste, temperature & availability.
  • Privacy, dignity & wellbeing: including changing and waiting facilities, single sex facilities, telephone access & appropriate patient clothing.
  • Condition, appearance & maintenance: including decoration, signage, linen and car-parking.

SCT achieved clear improvement across all PLACE categories and a good performance compared with the national average, as shown below:



Food & hydration

Privacy & dignity

Condition & appearance

SCT average % scores 2014





National average % scores 2014





SCT average % scores 2013 *





* Assessment criteria relating to the ‘organisational’ element of the food & hydration score and around access to television and radio changed during the year, so the scores for food & hydration and privacy, dignity and wellbeing for 2013 and 2014 are not directly comparable.

SCT’s executive director of finance, facilities & estates Jonathan Reid says: “The quality of the care environment impacts profoundly upon the experience of the people we serve and our staff alike. So we’re delighted to have made such progress over the year.

“This reflects a clear commitment and effort to improve on the part of everyone involved, from our infection prevention and control team and our facilities team through to our estates team and the entire team on each ward. We thank them all.

“They’ve worked hard to improve the cleaning at our units, update signage, install more bins, renew our food menus and offer more choice of meals. We’ve also redecorated at a number of locations, and refurbished the toilets.

“We’re disappointed that we haven’t progressed as quickly as we’d like with regard to the condition and appearance of the buildings in which we work. The difficulty is that these are mostly owned by third-party landlords and maintained by external agencies, so we have to carefully negotiate more substantial progress.

“This helps explain why our score for condition & appearance is below the national average. But it still shows good progress over the year and we’ll use our PLACE feedback to quicken the pace.”