THE Royal Surrey County Hospital has been ranked the top hospital in Surrey by patients in four out of five inspection categories.

When compared to other acute hospitals in the county - Frimley Park, Ashford and St Peters, Epsom and St Helier, and Surrey and Sussex - the Royal Surrey ranked first for cleanliness; privacy, dignity and wellbeing; condition, appearance and maintenance; and dementia care.

The only exception was food, where the Guildford-based hospital was placed third.

Annual patient-led assessments of the care environment (PLACE), which took place earlier this year, apply to hospitals, hospices and day treatment centres providing NHS funded care.

They involve local people going into hospitals and focus entirely on the care environment and do not cover clinical care provision or how well staff are doing their job.

The Royal Surrey scored above the national average in all areas.

Alf Turner, director of organisational transformation at the Royal Surrey, said: “We are really proud of these fantastic results. This is such a valuable survey because it is led by patients.

“A number of staff members in our organisation have been working hard to improve those areas identified in last year’s survey and I am delighted that their efforts have paid off.”