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NHS Trusts / Senior Care / 05.01.2020

How knowledge sharing helps Medirest provide an exceptional service

 By Kate Barnes, Head of Business Excellence, Compass UK&I Healthcare

The NHS is a wonder of knowledge, experience and skill sets, all working together to provide world-class healthcare to people in the UK. It’s the collaborative nature of this service that makes it such an exceptional one. And, here at Medirest, collaboration and knowledge sharing are vital to making sure we provide exceptional service, too.

It’s something we’re committed to from the very top of our organisation, right through to those working on the frontline in healthcare facilities around the country. 

Our Business Excellence team

We place a huge focus on gathering information that can add value to the NHS and disseminating this across all of our contracts. We’ve seen significant investment in our Business Excellence team, who work closely with both independent entities, our wider Compass Group family and our clients to drive and deliver value and efficiencies.

With experts in dietetics, cleaning, health and safety, retail, IT healthcare data, patient flow and workforce management, our Business Excellence team has insight to offer in almost every area of Medirest’s remit. They ensure that the sharing of knowledge is embedded into our processes and that our NHS contracts benefit from all our latest learnings and efficiency savings. 

Sharing business excellence through expertise

Our Business Excellence team also uses independent research to discover new areas where we can add value. In particular, information about our users’ motivations and emotions is important to help the team to build an accurate picture of what matters to those who use our services.  For example, we recently asked The Patients Association to explore patients’ food and drink experiences to better understand their preferences. As a result, we discovered that the most important factors to patients were that their food tastes good, offers the right amount of choice and is served at the right temperature — overturning the widely assumed knowledge that freshly cooked food topped the list of patients’ priorities. It’s insights such as these that allow us to continue to improve the patient experience and deliver value to the NHS.  

Gathering knowledge around the globe

Along with these learnings in the UK, our Business Excellence team is also firmly positioned as part of our wider Compass Group family, with access to a wealth of knowledge from our contracts and relationships all around the world. To make sure we’re making the most of the insights each of these offers, the Business Excellence Team takes a leading role in the International Compass Healthcare Forum. This organisation is dedicated to sharing best global practice for healthcare service providers and offers a platform for networking and collaboration. 

We use this quarterly meeting to learn from others in the Compass Group family and to share learnings from our own contracts. These reviews often provide an opportunity to explore new technologies that are making catering and facilities management in the healthcare sector more efficient. They’re also a chance to discover pilot projects in different countries which can help us to develop our own offering. 

Reviewing our relationships

To make sure that all of this information is being put to good use, we also closely monitor our own performance through Quarterly Business Reviews (QBRs). Our independent strategic business partner joins each of these reviews to provide an impartial view, share knowledge on best practice and collect feedback directly from the client. QBRs go beyond the detailed discussions we regularly have with our clients to also evaluate our vision, value and the objectives of the site. One of the powerful tools we have for knowledge sharing in this area is our relationship questionnaire, which give us valuable insight into how we’re aligned, how well we’re delivering our services and identifies areas we can add additional value.

Sharing information to drive better outcomes

Ultimately, all of the insights explored above are opportunities to share knowledge with the NHS. From our Business Excellence team, these insights are disseminated to contract managers who then share these with the NHS clients we work with. We also sit on external, national bodies that set industry policy and standards, and form part of NHS Improvement working parties — seeking out information beneficial to our contracts and transferring it into our systems and delivery to achieve better outcomes.

Our relationships are all collaborative, with the NHS providing learnings that we can also take away and incorporate into forward-thinking processes that support us in delivering value. That’s one of the reasons we were so quick to get behind the Commissioning for Quality and Innovation (CQUIN) targets. As a result, all our in-house catering and all our partner providers are fully compliant with CQUIN target Indicator 1b.

To find out more about what this means in practice at healthcare facilities all around the UK, take a look at one of our recent blog posts.

To find out more about the focus we place on sharing knowledge within our company and with outside parties such as the NHS, take a look at our response to the Public Value Framework. Download ‘Taking the Public Value Framework forward’, today.

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