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National Patient Safety Agency

New PEAT scores show more NHS hospitals gave polished performance

22 July 2010

New findings published today by the National Patient Safety Agency show greater numbers of hospitals are treating their patients in cleaner, better maintained environments.

The Patient Environment Action Teams (PEAT) programme assesses all hospitals and inpatient units with 10 or more beds.


PEAT teams consist of nurses, matrons, doctors, catering, domestic service managers as well as groups of patients, their representatives and members of the public.

They look at levels of cleanliness, some aspects of infection control (such as hand hygiene), the quality of the environment (such as decoration, maintenance and lighting) as well as the standard of food offered to patients.


Following the inspection, each hospital is given a score out of excellent, good, acceptable, poor or unacceptable.


Today’s figures show 87 per cent of NHS hospitals across England (1,084) have been rated ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ for their environment.  In addition, 96 per cent of NHS hospitals (1,143) achieved an ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ rating for the quality, choice and availability of food for patients. * 


Health minister Simon Burns MP said:  “Patients rightly expect to be treated in clean surroundings, with good food and with respect for their privacy.  It is reassuring to see that hospitals are building on the improvements it has already made in these key areas of patient experience.

“We have already started to publish other detailed data on hospitals, so that patients can make more informed choices about their healthcare.  This will truly put patients back at the heart of everything we do.”


The NPSA’s Director of Patient Safety, Dr Suzette Woodward, said: “Patients rightly expect hospitals to take care of them in an environment that is clean and safe. The impressive results announced today, with more trusts having improved their position since last year’s inspection, demonstrate the ongoing commitment that the NHS has to improving the environment in which patients receive their healthcare.”


Brixham and Paignton hospitals in Devon, managed by Torbay Care Trust, both received excellent scores in all three categories of PEAT. 


Matron Becky Ranson said: “For patients, visiting hospital can be a worrying time and we are committed to making the experience as comfortable as possible. 


“To maintain exceptionally high standards, monthly Cleanliness and Environmental Audits of our community hospitals are conducted by the Hospital Matrons and Hotel Service Manager.  A database has been specifically created to record and monitor results and actions required.

“We have also appointed a specialist cleaning team which undertakes a deep clean of clinical areas every six months or following any outbreak of infection, which is in addition to the existing daily, routine cleaning schedule.


“Patient experiences and satisfaction are very important and we actively seek opinions through comment cards.  This gives patients the opportunity to feedback on the standards of hygiene, food and privacy and dignity.”


Ms Ranson added: “The Trust’s aim is to work with staff to promote a culture of pride and ownership and to develop an understanding of how the care environment directly affects health and wellbeing.”

For more information about this year’s PEAT scores, please visit www.nrls.npsa.nhs.uk/patient-safety-data/peat


Notes to editors


* 50 sites within the ‘Food’ category were not included within this assessment as these had their own self catering arrangements.  Therefore, the total number of sites that were assessment was 1,192.


1. Media enquiries to the NPSA Press Office:

Simon Morgan – 020 7927 9580 / simon.morgan@npsa.nhs.uk

Dominic Stevenson – 020 7927 9351 / dominic.stevenson@npsa.nhs.uk


Out of hours – 0788 411 5956


2. The National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) is an Arm’s Length Body of the Department of Health. It encompasses three divisions; the National Research Ethics Service, Patient Safety and the National Clinical Assessment Service. The NPSA’s vision is to lead and contribute to improved, safe patient care by informing, supporting and influencing healthcare individuals and organisations. For more information visit: www.nrls.npsa.nhs.uk.