PLACE Audits

by Michael Salter

Way back in February, volunteers based at Rosewood and at Duncan Macmillan House were treated to PLACE audit training sessions!  At least we would get to know what the acronym means.  Delivered by Paul Theed, (Modern Matron, Specialist Services Directorate Quality Team) in a pleasant and relaxed atmosphere we soon knew that Patient Led Assessments of the Care Environment are an important part of maintaining high standards in the delivery of care in our hospitals.  The challenging, busy and frequently staff-pressured life on our hospital wards, can lead to a culture of prioritising.  Standards in this specialised care environment may slip BUT frequently they are kept to a very high level and this should be acknowledged and praised, just as much as focussing on failings that must be remedied.

No sooner was the training session completed at Rosewood, than Joanna Rapson was all over the volunteers like a rash.  No way was she going to miss harnessing our enthusiasm for discovering long-term lingering dust, non-laminated notices, damaged flooring etc., etc.  Quite quickly, the long list for volunteer inspectors for the PLACE audits in Mental Health establishments was filled.

The next 10 weeks saw a flurry of activity under the guidance and direction of Paul Theed.  A small army of volunteers was dispatched periodically to Highbury Hospital, Wells Road, Bassetlaw Hospital, Millbrook Unit and the QMC, where we were able to put the training to good use and reinforce the skills with which we had been imparted. This has been a most interesting and tremendously important task in which we volunteers have been able to contribute.  Now we all hope that the patients and staff in these vital Health Services will benefit from the inspections, through recognition of some really good practice as well as the improvements and changes that are being implemented.

Baking and Crafts at Thornywood

One of our volunteers, Carl, has been busy baking and doing Easter crafts at Thornywood. He attends weekly and does music activities, baking, crafts and plays cards with service users.

Carl seems to really enjoy his time spent there and we’ve had some lovely feedback from staff about how much they appreciate him.


Decorated eggs for Easter – Carl’s egg on the right was named “Dred” and survived two days of being carried around in a bag and shown to people before cracking. Dred even went on a walk and to the museum!


Damage to Rosewood Garden

Sad start to the week. Unfortunately some time over the weekend people have broken into the Rosewood garden and have damaged the hard work of our volunteers and staff.

Thankfully, there doesn’t seem to be any damage to the plants and with a bit more elbow grease we’ll have the place tidied up and secured again.

It’s easy when things like this occur to get angry and frustrated how people can be incredibly selfish and disrespectful of others. However, our volunteers serve as a constant reminder that for every one of these selfish individuals, there are many more who are kind, considerate and so very giving to others.

If you have any information on this incident, please contact Nottinghamshire Police on 101 and quote incident number 117 of 10th April 2017.