Patients judging the food on offer at Royal Surrey have ranked the Trust in the country’s top five, according to an annual report from NHS England.

The food and hydration scores were published in the latest Patient-Led Assessments of the Care Environment (PLACE) data.

PLACE is about the patient care environment, covering food, cleanliness, privacy, dignity and wellbeing, condition, appearance and maintenance and how well the organisation supports patients with dementia and disabilities. 

Food at the Royal Surrey is provided by Medirest and thanks to their tasty and nutritious meals and high quality service for patients, the trust scored 98 per cent, compared to a national average of 90 per cent in NHS and independent healthcare settings.

The assessments also rated Royal Surrey highly compared to the national average in the categories of cleanliness (99 per cent), how effectively the trust supports care with privacy and dignity (91 per cent), the condition and maintenance of facilities (98 per cent), and how well our premises are equipped for patients who have dementia (92 per cent) or a disability (97 per cent).

In each category of the survey, a team rigorously checks standards against a detailed set of criteria. Each team is made up of at least 50 per cent patients. In 2022, 1,046 assessments were carried out across the country.

Gary Mountjoy, associate director of estates and facilities, said: “The PLACE assessments are led by the estates and facilities team and are supported by our clinical teams and the partners we work with, including Medirest and CBRE, who all work tirelessly throughout the year behind the scenes to continuously improve all areas of patient experience.

"We would like to say a huge thank you to all the patients and governors who volunteered their free time to help us carry out these audits – it’s important work and we couldn’t do it without them.”

For food, the visiting team assessed Medirest on how they prepare, cook and present the meals at ward level.

They rated the choices on offer, as well as the quality, timing and round-the-clock availability of food and drink. They were also impressed with the implementation of the electronic meal order system for patients to use. 

Mr Mountjoy added: “It’s a very thorough assessment process but the catering staff work consistently hard to deliver a high standard of quality meals and we’re pleased that their efforts have been recognised with this fantastic rating. This truly goes to show how our partnership approach between Royal Surrey and Medirest works in an extremely positive light.”

Louise Stead, the trust’s chief executive officer, said: “This is a very impressive set of results, not just in our provision of good quality food for patients but across the board in vital areas such as patient dignity, good disability provision and cleanliness.

"I’m extremely proud of all the teams who have contributed to the very high standards of patient care in the Trust and in facilities management. This is a fantastic achievement, well done and thank you to everyone who contributed to the assessments.”