23rd Aug 2007 - 00:00
Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust has signed a five-year deal with vending operator, Springbank Industries.
The agreement will provide a range of upgraded beverage and snack machines, and shopfitted retail solutions across the three sites, City Hospital, Sandwell Hospital, and Rowley Regis Hospital. The Trust is one of the largest teaching Trusts in the UK. Established in April 2002, the Trust has a budget of £325 million, employs more than 6,500 staff, and has around 1,200 beds, serving a population of over 500,000. Trust catering manager Jane Owen says: "We have a long-standing relationship with Springbank Industries, having first approached them back in 1990. As you can imagine, there have been many changes since then. "We've been upgrading our automatic catering, and reviewing the positioning of some of our machines to maximize sales. "There was a need to provide 24/7 catering specifically in the A&E and Eye departments, so we installed two new chilled food machines, which gives us the added advantage of being able to offer healthier options, such as yoghurts, apples and grapes, sandwiches and breakfast bars. "It's great to be able to provide good quality catering options out of hours." The site has undergone many changes in recent years, most notably the new facilities at the Birmingham Treatment Centre. The £35m development provides modern facilities for diagnosis and treatment, and was the first of the Trust's sites to offer bean to cup drinks and snacks in a fully shopfitted retail environment. The creation of this new environment means the thousands of outpatients who visit it annually will now have the option of bean-to-cup quality coffee. Springbank regional director Paul Tildesley says: "We were delighted when the Trust awarded us their contract, our commitment to them over the years has really paid off. "When it came to reviewing their existing offering, the Trust was unequivocal about raising the standards of refreshments for patients, staff and visitors alike. They have been upgrading their refreshment offering through investment into smart shopfitted retail environments, and state of the art machines. "We looked at the vending hot-spots on site and removed the machines which were not financially viable, relocating to areas with heavier footfall. Changes have also been made to reflect a healthier lifestyle, giving visitors and patients more choice. Other Springbank healthcare clients include Queens Medical Centre in Nottingham, Derby Royal Infirmary, and New Cross Hospital, Wolverhampton.