A hospital trust in London has brought its catering and cleaning services in-house to improve workplace equality, it has confirmed.
Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals Trust has become the fifth of the capital’s 12 non-specialist hospital trusts to provide the services itself, rather than retain its outsourced contract with Mitie.
In February the trust first announced that it was investing £2million in the cleaning, catering and portering teams and that staff would be brought back in-house, as the contract with support services provider Mitie came to an end after six years.
The trust said that πin rejoining the NHS family, the cleaning, catering and portering staff will see a number of benefits, including an uplift in pay to ensure all staff are paid the London Living Wage – a 12 per cent increase on current pay for some 440 staff, based on the increased London Living Wage for 2021/22".
Earlier in the year, chief executive Daniel Elkeles said: “As the current contract comes to an end, we’ve looked at what’s best for the staff, our hospitals and services, and what provides best value for taxpayer’s money. Having fully assessed our options, and with the support of our trust board, we look forward to taking our cleaning, portering and catering services back into the NHS family as part of the trust’s estates and facilities team. We would like to thank Mitie for its high-quality support and service since 2015.”
Elkeles added: “Some 40 per cent of our cleaning, catering and portering staff are from black, Asian and minority ethnic communities — communities already hit particularly hard by Covid-19. This is absolutely the right time to welcome these teams back to the NHS family, with all of the benefits that brings."