PATIENTS at Dorset County Hospital are enjoying high standards in cleanliness, food, privacy and the environment according to the results of a new national assessment released today.

The Dorchester hospital has achieved excellent scores in all categories in the 2014 PLACE (Patient-Led Assessments of Care Environments) assessments.

The new programme replaced the old PEAT (Patient Environment Action Team) scoring system last year.

The assessments are undertaken by teams of NHS and private or independent healthcare providers as well as members of the public.

The focus is on the environment in which care is provided as well as non-clinical services such as cleanliness, food, hydration and the extent to which the provision of care with privacy and dignity is supported.

Dorset County Hospital achieved a score of 98.52 per cent for cleanliness, compared to a national average of 97.25 per cent, as well as 89.66 per cent for food and hydration compared to an average of 88.79 per cent.

Privacy, dignity and well-being also scored above the national average with a rating of 92.07 per cent, as did condition, appearance and maintenance which achieved 96.48 per cent.

The hospital’s director of nursing, Alison Tong, said: “The PLACE assessments are critical to understanding the environment, nutritional standards and cleanliness of the hospital from a patient perspective.

“We take the feedback exceptionally seriously and are very pleased on two levels – firstly that we have improved upon our own scores from last year and secondly that we have achieved higher than the national average in all four categories.

“The people who have made this happen are our hardworking and dedicated staff. Without their energy and enthusiasm this would not be possible, so many thanks to all Dorset County Hospital staff.”