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Consultancy Neller Davies transforms catering service at surrey hospital

26th Apr 2024 - 07:00
Neller Davies transforms catering service at surrey hospital
The catering team at Ashford and St Peter's Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (ASPH) in Surrey has been rated as the best in the country by their colleagues at the Trust after facilities management consultancy Neller Davies helped to transform the catering service.

In the 2023 NHS Staff Survey, sent to more than 1.4million NHS workers across all trusts, 64% of staff working at ASPH positively responded to the question, ‘I can afford nutritious and affordable food while I am working’ – compared to a national average of nearly 54%.

This is not the first time ASPH has received recognition for its staff catering service as Prue Leith cited it as an example of best practice and ASPH was awarded exemplar status by the Hospital Food Review.  

In 2020, Ashford and St Peter’s brought staff catering in-house and engaged the services of consultancy Neller Davies to turn it around. In the space of two years, sales revenue more than doubled and daily catering transactions tripled.

Neller Davies introduced a new approach to hospital staff catering ‘inspired’ by a City of London corporate catering. The staff engagement programme aimed to change the mindset so that the catering team feel proud of what they do, are empowered to bring ideas to the table and are keen to learn more.

ASPH staff have been treated to pop-ups, takeaway dishes, themed days, guest chef events, barbecues, and an ice-cream parlour, all initiated and led by a motivated catering team. Satisfaction scores increased from 52% in 2020 to over 70% in 2022.

Despite lowering prices by 15% to ensure all staff could afford tasty, nutritious meals onsite, average spend went up by over 20%. Demand increased to the point where a new kitchen was built and opened in March 2022. 

Eimear Jordan, facilities support services manager at ASPH, said: “We are extremely proud that our Trust colleagues have scored us as the best in the country for nutritious and affordable food whilst at work. This strengthens our motivation to ensure catering is the cornerstone of staff welfare and a great tool for the attraction and retention of talents across team ASPH.”

Following the success seen at ASPH, the Neller Davies team has been asked to replicate the model across several trusts and is already seeing similarly positive results elsewhere.

Julian Fris, director at Neller Davies, added: “We’re thrilled that the ASPH team has received such glowing recognition for the hard work they put in every day to ensure their NHS colleagues have access to food that is both nutritious and delicious to ensure they can provide the best possible patient care.

“The NHS has the largest catering footprint in the UK and is beleaguered by a generally poor image, but this just shows that a change in mindset where customers are treated as guests who have their own needs and wants, can reap huge rewards.”

Written by
Edward Waddell