Since bringing catering, cleaning and portering services back in house on 1 June 2021, Epsom and St Helier hospitals’ staff and visitors have been treated to a fresh new menu and mocktails.
Under the leadership of Doreen Ayi, Head of Catering Services, the Catering Team have been working hard to improve the offer to staff and patients. And their efforts are being well received as over 110 staff chose to buy their lunch from the restaurant at St Helier on one day last week, more than ever before.
Speaking about the changes, Doreen said: “During the heatwave, which coincided with the national Nutrition and Hydration Week (14-20 June), we wanted to offer staff and visitors something refreshing to complement their meals, so the idea of serving mocktails was born. We’ve had such a great response that we’ve kept it up and are experimenting with flavours – yesterday’s was modelled on one from the Ivy restaurant.”
Daniel Elkeles, Chief Executive of Epsom and St Helier hospitals, said: “These small differences can make such a big difference to our staff and those who use our services, so it's great to see that staff feel empowered to make these changes.
"Speaking to the catering staff, it's clear to see how happy so many of them are to have re-joined the NHS as employees of our Trust.”
From 1 June 2021, the staff re-joined the Trust as NHS employees, as the previous contract (which was held by provider MITIE) came to an end after a successful six years. In re-joining the NHS family, the Trust has invested in a £2 million pay uplift for these staff to ensure all staff are paid the London Living Wage. This is a 12% increase on pay for some 440 staff, based on the increased London Living Wage for 2021/22.
Head of Catering Services, Doreen Ayi, raises a glass with Chief Executive, Daniel Elkeles