Ashford & St Peters Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in Surrey has opened new staff and visitor catering services in a move to offer long-term food provision across its sites in Chertsey and Ashford.
The services, including a staff restaurant and three cafés, were launched following a strategic review by FM consultancy Neller Davies, bringing together the trust’s estates and facilities, dietetic and clinical teams as part of the development process.
The facilities give staff and visitors access to safe, modern and commercially viable areas to eat across the trust’s two hospitals.
More than 90 per cent of the food is being freshly produced on-site, allowing the trust to meet requirements set out in the Hospital Food Review – a programme recently launched by celebrity chef Prue Leith and Phillip Shelley, chair of the review and a former chair of the Hospital Caterers Association.
The services will incorporate the surrounding community by working with local businesses to source produce.
Since a soft launch in September, overall sales of food and products have risen by 50 per cent, with customer satisfaction scoring 4.7 out of 5.
Neller Davies’ key objectives were focusing on improving food and service quality, valuing staff and improving recruitment and retention, and ensuring a Covid-secure environment.
The services are all being delivered in-house but initially supported by locally based contract caterer Bartlett Mitchell.
The company provided specialist training and mentoring, culinary development, payment apps, and an artisan coffee offer. The move has also created and maintained 26 jobs in-house, bringing back furloughed staff, saving them from redundancy.
Julian Fris, director of Neller Davies, said: “This project has been a brilliant example of how collaboration between hospital departments and external providers can result in a product which will improve customer throughput, staff motivation and deliver efficiencies for our NHS.
“It is through considered partnerships like this that we will be able to care for our NHS and the people who work tirelessly to look after all of us.”
Ian Thomas, CEO of Bartlett Mitchell, added: “We are delighted to have supported the development of the new facilities. Not only does this collaboration help to provide a fresh and unique catering offer for a hugely important sector of society but it has also helped to create employment opportunities for many people who will have been struggling as a direct result of the economic fallout of Covid-19.”