The Christie comes top for ward food in national patient-led assessment

Press release posted 17 April 2023

The Christie NHS Foundation Trust has once again scored very highly in a national survey looking at patient views of the healthcare environment. The specialist cancer centre came first out of 222 hospitals, hospices and other care environments for ward food and scored highly in all other areas.

The Patient-Led Assessments of the Care Environment (PLACE) survey looks at non-clinical services that patients say are most important to them. These include the quality of the food, cleanliness, privacy and dignity, and the appearance of buildings and grounds. The results are published nationally by the Health and Social Care Information Centre.

The assessment was carried out in September 2022 at The Christie’s sites in Withington and Macclesfield. At Withington, 14 patient assessors and an independent assessor from another NHS Trust carried out the assessment, alongside colleagues from clinical and non-clinical departments. At Macclesfield, 3 patient assessors joined three staff members to carry out the assessment.

The Christie’s highest rating was for the ward food, with the Trust’s Withington site scoring 100%, nearly 10% above the national average of 90.2%. The patient assessors were particularly impressed with the variety of dishes available.

Unlike many hospitals, patient food at The Christie is prepared and cooked on-site, rather than being cooked off-site and reheated. The in-house catering team is responsible for the complete service from delivery to patient. In order to go the extra mile for patients, the food offering at the Trust is supported by a grant from The Christie charity which allows the catering team to provide a variety of hot and cold snacks to encourage patients with small appetites to eat little and often, whenever they are hungry.

The Withington site also scored highly in all other areas, beating the national average in every category.

This was the first time that The Christie at Macclesfield has taken part in the assessment. The centre does not serve food but scored highly in all other areas, including cleanliness (99.38%) and condition and appearance of the site (100%).

Both sites performed well in terms of the quality of care for disabled patients and those with dementia, beating the national average by over 10% in both categories.

Of their experience at The Christie, one of the patient assessors said: “The hospital is very clean and the patient areas tidy and well kept. My overall impression was very positive. The place is spacious and well-lit and the people who work there are helpful and attentive.”

Commenting on the survey results, Roger Spencer, chief executive at The Christie, said: “We are once again delighted to have scored so highly in this assessment. We put the patients at the heart of everything we do, so to receive such high praise from them is fantastic.

“The Christie has outperformed other care environments in this survey, and we will be working hard in the next 12 months to continue to deliver the highest standards possible for all our patients.”

The PLACE survey is recognised as a key way for both the NHS and independent/private healthcare providers to maintain a strong focus on the environmental factors that make a big difference to the experience patients have and how services can be improved for the future.

Last updated: April 2023