Patients, visitors and staff at Western Sussex Hospitals are set to benefit from improved shop, café and restaurant services, thanks to a decision to award a new retail catering contract across the Trust.
The move will see a £1.1m investment in upgrading the main entrances of our hospitals and generate a further £450k a year at least to invest in patient services, the first instalment of which will be allocated for new radiology and ultrasound equipment at Worthing and St Richard’s.
Following an extensive review of catering services the Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Board has decided to offer Compass Group, the contract to run its shops, cafes and restaurants.
The company has a wealth of experience providing retail catering in the public sector including in more than 50 hospitals in the UK. At Western Sussex, patients, staff and visitors will be able to enjoy Costa coffee, pastries and paninis from DeliMarche, a full-service Spice of Life restaurant and ‘grab and go’ shopping from convenience retailer Amigo.
David Jones, Director of Facilities and Estates for the Trust said: “This new contract is great news for patients, visitors and staff at Western Sussex Hospitals. We’ll be improving the availability and choice of food and drink within our hospitals while securing additional funding for services and equipment.
“Fundamentally, it didn’t make sense for us to be operating our restaurants at a loss, when the same space could attract a significant income from an external supplier. It is money we could use many times over, and which we have committed to using to improve patient care. Patients and their visitors will still enjoy the same high standards of service, but will also benefit from improved choice, lower prices, extended opening hours and better healthy choices.”
The income generated by the new food and retail outlets will fund the replacement of high value radiology and ultrasound equipment in Worthing and St Richard’s Hospitals, enabling digitised records, improved services and reduced waiting times. Some of the money will also be used to refurbish wards in Worthing Hospital and the development of musculo-skeletal services at Southlands Hospital
The shops and cafés across the Trust are currently operated by three Friends organisations, who will be offered areas within each of the hospitals from which to base their fundraising activities. There will be funding available to support the development of these facilities and the Trust is also encouraging the Friends organisations to continue operating the popular ward trolleys, which are so valued by patients.
Mike Viggers, Trust Chairman, added: “The Friends make a valuable contribution to our hospitals, giving their time and expertise and we remain grateful for everything they do.
“We recognise that this change will affect them, which is why we’ve made it a priority to give each of them an alternative home in the hospitals. We are also encouraging those individuals who currently volunteer in the shops and cafés to join our 1,000-strong volunteer force to continue supporting us in providing excellent patient care.”
Friday 18 November, 2016