Our COVID-19 Response /
A partnership to support healthcare providers
From the outset of the pandemic, our silent army of cleaners, caterers, porters and security staff have worked side by side with the NHS workforce to provide frontline healthcare services and made sure patient safety and satisfaction remains front and centre.
Relieving pressure on the NHS
We immediately put a huge redeployment programme into action, getting our people to where they were most needed, from care homes and NHS hospitals, to Nightingale hospitals.
Our focus was on working collaboratively with our healthcare partners, anticipating their needs where we could and being ready with solutions, so our management team stayed close to local and unique challenges at all times. We also had regular calls with NHSI and E and our procurement partners to tackle challenges immediately and ensure continuous deliveries of key supplies like PPE and cleaning products, as well as the development of national standard operating procedures and training.
Supporting our people
We moved fast to support our healthcare heroes with a wide range of practical and emotional help, and we’re proud to have won the 2021 Springboard award for Best National Support for Key Workers. We gave our frontline staff a pay premium, and then converted this to a permanent wage increase to match the NHS Agenda for Change. With a spirit of leaving no one behind, we delivered over 10,000 food boxes to employees and made over 7,000 welfare calls to those isolating.
Our Helping Hands financial fund reached out to those employees in need, and our employee assistance programme offered everything from counselling services to financial signposting. We also set up a medical helpline to support our colleagues who had health concerns, relieving some of the strain from 111. Our You Matter mental health initiative created a supportive atmosphere that prioritised looking out for employees’ mental wellbeing, and our Healthcare Heroes recognition programme rewarded outstanding performance from our people.