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Blogs / 19.01.2022

How to deliver data driven patient centred care for 2022 and beyond

Blog post by Russell Blake, Managing Director of hospitals and senior living

As we move into 2022, healthcare facilities management faces its biggest challenge so far. But we will triumph, because we are a sector of skilled, resourceful and committed service facilitators.  

I have been in facilities management for nearly 30 years, and I’m currently responsible for leading our hospitals and senior living business within Compass Group’s Healthcare Sector supporting both the public and private sector. Throughout my career, I have always believed it’s your actions that define you - as an individual and as a business. 

Two years into the pandemic, we continue to provide a solid bedrock of services that healthcare settings can rely on and delegate to, knowing that every task will be completed to the highest of standards. We anticipate needs, freeing up clinicians and care staff to focus on their core tasks. Our success isn’t a secret formula though and it can be distilled into three guiding principles.

Principle #1 – put people at the heart of everything you do

At its most fundamental level, healthcare is all about people looking after people, so we put people at the heart of everything we do and build out from there.

Become a people resource clients can rely on

As the pandemic hit, we responded quickly to make sure our people were where they were most needed. In 2020 we launched Constellation, our in-house labour agency. To date, it has delivered 200,000 shifts and one million hours, diverting thousands of Compass Group employees from other sectors impacted by COVID-19 into healthcare.

Focus on growing your own talent

My approach is to hire the smile, then train in the skills they need. It is critical to maximise every recruitment avenue at a time when labour is scarce, in practice this means putting less focus on traditional qualifications and more emphasis on career progression.

We must open recruitment doors wherever we can find them, from giving young people their first job opportunity, to creating flexible avenues for returners to the workforce and welcoming those who want to switch careers. Plus we need to hold onto the talent we’ve got, making sure our people can see a clear career progression path with us and providing a supportive mentoring culture to actively help them achieve their goals. We have to make sure everyone feels free to be who they are at work, so we use our thriving diversity and inclusion network to build supportive working environments.

Principle #2 – partnership is key to success

True partnership is more than a buzz word, it’s a living, breathing entity with the power to transform people’s experiences and end results. For me, creating this takes two things – aligning wholeheartedly with your client’s goals and actively working to strengthen the relationship by sourcing innovation and driving continuous improvement. This means establishing a collaborative way of working and keeping every aspect of our services transparent so that we work as one team. Our retention rate of 99.2% is a strong testament to that.

Build one team, with one set of goals

Bringing the 2020 Hospital Food Review to life is a prime example of how we combined our own high standards with NHS aims so that now, it’s hard to see where the guidelines end, and our approach starts. It has been great to see how we took the review’s encouragement to motivate excellence and drive changes, as well as sponsoring and providing mentoring support for the new NHS Chef of the Year competition.

Take an active role in your client’s organisation

I believe healthcare facilities management providers must freely share their expertise as part of their client partnerships. During the pandemic, for example, our national cleaning and infection control lead worked hand in hand with the NHS to develop a new suite of standard operating procedures for frontline teams. In recognition of this work and for many years of collaboration with the NHS she was awarded an MBE. 

Principle #3 – never stop innovating

I see innovation as a state of mind. You can’t just wait for inspiration to strike; you need to nurture it and use everything available to you to foster it.

Let data show the way, so collaboration can bring results home

Data is often key to innovation and the advances within data analytics and AI helps us sharpen the understanding. When accurate data flows through an organisation it feeds creative thinking and drives service improvement, a great example being our Frictionless FM solution.

Use data to innovate for a sustainable future

Compass Group is committed to achieving Net Zero by 2030 and that the Science Based Targets initiative has approved our targets as being in line with the 1.5°C trajectory as set out in the Paris Agreement. But what does this mean on the frontline of healthcare? Steamplicity, our patient dining offer, has proved to reduce food waste from 10% down to 2.5% as well as offering a menu that contains over a third vegetarian choices. Our new closed loop recycling system for Steamplicity trays will cut the use of virgin plastic by 244 tonnes a year, and our micro-steaming cooking process reduces kitchen energy use by 37%. And over in domestics, our innovative robotic scrubber-dryer system uses 70% less water and fewer chemicals than traditional cleaning methods.

Together, we will succeed

There’s no doubt that working in healthcare during 2022 will be challenging. But I believe there are also strong reasons to be optimistic – I predict 2022 will be the year we get the Covid pandemic under control and I have faith that the caring spirit that underpins our health and care system will inspire us all to build a better future.

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