For the second year running a national survey involving patients, members of the local community and staff has rated Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Trust highly for the environment it provides to patients.

The ‘Patient Environment Action Team’ (PEAT) assessment was undertaken in January and looks at a range of factors that could affect a patient's experience of staying in hospital, such as cleanliness, privacy and dignity and the catering service. It also assesses how easy it is to access and park at the hospital and those small but equally important details which can really make a difference to patients, such as how hot or cold the ward is.

Both Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals maintained their ratings of 'excellent' for food, ‘good’ for environment and ‘good’ for levels of privacy and dignity. Chief Nurse Caroline Becher said: “We are absolutely committed to providing every single one of our patients with high quality care in a clean, welcoming environment. The PEAT assessment is extremely thorough and to be rated as 'good' is a real achievement. However, we are not complacent and are committed to being the best we possibly can be."

One major project the Trust has undertaken over the last year is to refurbish most of the wards at both hospitals so as to comply with the national requirement to virtually eliminate mixed sex accommodation. Caroline said: “Changing the layout of the wards has dramatically improved the experience of patients, as most no longer have to share accommodation with members of the opposite sex, but it has also given us an opportunity to renew much of the ‘fabric and fittings’ of the wards to help housekeeping staff clean more easily. At the same time, the outpatient’s area at St Peter’s Hospital has also been refurbished and plans are in place for a similar scheme at Ashford Hospital later this year.”

Ken Ellis, Vice Chairman of the Trust Patient Panel, said: "The ongoing refurbishment of the wards, outpatient and public areas has made a fantastic change to the general environment. The bathroom and toilet facilities are modern and damaged flooring in corridors and wards has been largely replaced.”

Added Head of Hotel Services William Britton: “We are delighted to have been rated so highly in the PEAT assessment. The fact that we have maintained our success from last year shows just how committed we are to providing a good experience for our patients.”

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