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Become a patient assessor

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We are not currently recruiting patient assessors.

View our most recent PLACE results.

Become a patient assessor for Russells Hall Hospital

The Dudley Group now uses patient assessors to help inspect Russells Hall Hospital.

The Department of Health and NHS England recommend that hospitals undertake an annual assessment of the quality of their non-clinical services and buildings; these assessments are called patient-led assessments of the care environment (PLACE).

The assessments are ‘patient-led’ to ensure that the patient voice is given the highest priority and patient assessors make up at least 50% of the assessment team. Assessors visit different parts of the hospital in order to assess:

  • Cleanliness
  • The condition of the buildings and fixtures (inside and out)
  • How well the building meets the needs of those use it, e.g. signage
  • The quality and availability of food and drinks
  • How well the environment protects people’s privacy and dignity

Assessors visit ward and non ward areas (e.g. inpatient wards, outpatient clinics and A&E).

How long will the assessment take?

Assessments take a minimum of four hours and assessors will be required to attend on one assessment day. Assessors also need to attend training beforehand which takes around four hours.

Refreshments will be provided and parking/travel costs reimbursed.

All days will involve lots of walking around the hospital – please advise us on the application form if you will require assistance.

Who can become a patient assessor?

People who use the hospital can apply to become an assessor, e.g:

  • Patients
  • Relatives and carers
  • Patient advocates and friends
  • Volunteers
  • Trust members
  • Trust governors
  • We will also involve our local Healthwatch

The important thing is to provide a patient view.

Current or recent members of staff (who have left the Trust within the last two years) cannot act as a patient assessor.

Patient assessors should broadly reflect our patient population.

What skills/training do I need?

PLACE volunteers should have a common-sense, unbiased and practical approach and be able to be objective when assessing and gathering information. They should provide a patient’s view of the hospital.

Volunteers will be trained alongside our own staff. Training will include:

  • Patient confidentiality and ward protocols
  • Hand hygiene and infection control procedures
  • Content of the assessment / checklists
  • The scoring process
  • Role of the patient assessors
  • Completing the assessment sheets
  • Information about the hospital
  • What to do in an emergency
  • A practice assessment

Applying to become an assessor

We are not currently recruiting any patient assessors, however keep checking this page for information about upcoming recruitment.

If you require any more information about becoming a patient assessor, please contact Helen Board on 01384 321124 or email