apetito, the UK’s leading creator and supplier of meals to the health and social care sector, has been appointed as the catering provider for The Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
The five-year contract will see apetito working in close partnership with the Trust, to transform the catering operation across the Hillingdon and Mount Vernon hospitals.
apetito’s offering includes an innovative plated meal solution, designed to enhance the catering system to one of ease and practicality. Meals are loaded onto individual patient trays and inserted into the Compactserv trolley, a Socamel design. Separate cooking and cooling compartments allow hot meals to be cooked from frozen, whilst elements such as sandwiches and desserts are kept cool on the other side of the tray. Once the process is complete, the trolley can be wheeled onto the ward where trays are simply lifted out and handed to patients as a complete meal.
The dining experience will be introduced into the Trust on 1st November. Several members of the apetito healthcare team will be on hand to assist hospital staff with the implementation of the new system and will continue to make regular visits.
Covering two sites, Hillingdon and Mount Vernon, The Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust provides a full range of A&E, inpatient, surgery and outpatient services to a catchment population of over 350,000 people.
On working with apetito, Anne Byrne, Facilities Manager for the Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We were particularly impressed with apetito's range and the taste of their meals, as well as their commercial offer, and believe they can further enhance our already well-recognised, high-quality patient meal services at the Trust.
“A key part of the tender was around sustainability and respecting the environment, and apetito’s record on sustainability was a major factor in their success in winning the contract.
The tender process involved staff from Facilities, Nursing, Dietetics, Finance and Procurement departments at the Trust, as well as Hillingdon Healthwatch, Trust Governors and Age UK. The Soil Association's 'Food for Life' team, which advises the Department of Health on national food policy, assisted the Trust with its food specification.
There was also a well-attended 'bake off' type tasting event in June, where each of the shortlisted tenderers cooked and served a range of their patient meals to 60 Trust staff and patient representatives, who then scored them on taste, texture and presentation.”
Rosemarie Hoyle, Divisional Manager apetito Healthcare said: “We’re delighted that the Hillingdon Trust has chosen to work with apetito and we look forward to working together to provide patients with quality, nutritious meals. From our collaboration with Socamel, we are able to offer an advanced catering system not seen before in the UK. We are extremely proud of this and believe it will help drive the Trust to flagship status within the NHS.”