Sodexo has agreed a five-year extension with a value of £90m to its contract for Queen’s Hospital in Romford.

Sodexo has worked with Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT) for 10 years to deliver a range of technical and soft services at Queen’s Hospital, including patient dining, hostess services, portering, waste management, cleaning, retail, reception, switchboard, car parking, security, estates management and grounds maintenance.

As part of the new contract, which starts in October, Sodexo is introducing a whole range of improvements and innovations, focusing on enhancing patient experience and releasing clinical time to care for patients.

Sodexo is introducing several changes to patient dining. The team has introduced new ‘Vive!’ steam-cooked meals on several wards, to offer optimum freshness. The speed of the system ensures the minimum amount of time between the patient ordering their meal and it being served. The use of a flexi-style menu and guaranteed availability means that patients’ preferred choices are always available.

A new children’s menu has been introduced, with colourful jungle-themed menus and service trolleys. Sodexo has also introduced more gluten-free and vegan menus.

The new contract also includes cleaning innovations which will help BHRUT tackle infection. The Sodexo cleaning team and the Trust’s infection prevention and control team have introduced Xenex, a UV disinfection system which uses a xenon lamp to create a germicidal ultraviolet light that disinfects surfaces using five minute cycles, meaning that rooms can be disinfected quickly between patients. The Trust and Sodexo were recently awarded the Association of Healthcare Cleaning’s Working in Partnership award for the Xenex collaboration.

From the beginning of this month, Sodexo also began a programme of replacing all curtains with disposable ones which are antimicrobial, actively resisting bacteria and helping control the spread of disease.

Sodexo has also undertaken an extensive refurbishment of its retail operations at Queen’s Hospital, launching new Subway and Yardbird outlets and providing a contemporary high street quality retail offer.

Simon Mills, director of estates at BHRUT, said: “Delivering the highest quality of care possible to our patients is what we’re always working towards, so it’s been great to see some of the improvements Sodexo have made recently. These things can really make a difference and give our patients a better experience of staying in our hospital.”

James Taylor, CEO for Sodexo Healthcare UK & Ireland said: “This contract extension represents some exciting new developments in patient dining, cleaning and retail at Queen’s Hospital, and showcases the way in which Sodexo is using innovation to offer a better service to patients and to develop more strategic partnership with its clients.

“I’m really proud of the hard work which has gone into this contract extension and I know the Sodexo team at Queen’s is excited to start delivering the new suite of integrated services.”

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