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News / 08.12.2021

Medirest to support Darent Valley Hospital

Medirest, the NHS facing healthcare division of Compass Group UK & Ireland is partnering with Darent Valley Hospital, part of the Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust. The new five year agreement  brings streamlined services and new innovations, whilst keeping people and the community at its heart.

Medirest will provide support services such as catering, cleaning, portering, security and reception – with 300 colleagues transferring to Medirest, who will receive enhanced training and development opportunities. 

Medirest’s unique patient dining solution, Steamplicity, will now be served to patients, alongside the introduction of new meal ordering technology. Created by chefs and dietitians, the meals are steam cooked with fresh and raw ingredients in under five minutes. This means that nutritional value is maximised, delivering on taste, flexibility and consistency, 24 hours a day. The menu provides almost 30 dishes across lunch and dinner, catering for a range of dietary requirements. Around 35% of Steamplicity meal options are vegetarian and vegan and it uses a closed loop recycling system for the tray packaging - supporting Compass Group UK & Ireland’s drive towards it’s Climate Net Zero commitments.

There will also be significant investment into the refresh of the hospital’s restaurant – maximising the importance of creating areas for people to relax, refresh and enjoy good food and drinks. A Wellspring restaurant will be introduced, with purpose designed pods for informal meetings; an ordering app, Time2Eat; and digital screens to improve queuing times, plus a commitment to supporting local and social enterprise suppliers, such as the Paul Rhodes Bakery, Change Please Coffee, Solley’s Ice Cream and Kent crisps. There will also be a bi-monthly street food event, featuring local suppliers.

To help improve patient flow, location specific Artificial Intelligence is going to be used, to create more efficient routing for portering and logistics tasks. This groundbreaking technology uses a geo-location system for mapping and allocating work, tracking where jobs need completing, setting up deployment and automatically updating the portering team and the hospital department requesting the job. Further innovation is being introduced with a cleaning, vacuum robot - the new technology will free up other team members to focus on touch point and cross infection hot spots.

Steve Cenci, Compass Group UK & Ireland – Healthcare, MD commented: “This partnership brings to life synergies and introduces innovation where needed in areas that are important to Darent Valley Hospital and Medirest . This practical appliance of technology will enhance the experience for anyone needing to visit the hospital. We have a comprehensive plan in place, and we can’t wait to implement it.”

Carolyn Lewis, Director of Estates, Facilities & Capital at Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trusts said; “We would like to thank the support teams for all of their commitment and dedication, particularly during the most challenging times of the pandemic. We are looking forward to continuing to work alongside our colleagues as they transfer over to Medirest. This is a very exciting time for the Trust and the enhanced services promise to be both groundbreaking and outstanding. We are excited about all the innovative solutions which will be introduced as a result of the change.” 

Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust who deliver some services from the Darent Valley Hospital site will also benefit from this partnership.

In May 2020 Medirest announced it will pay healthcare frontline employees, who support the NHS, the equivalent NHS Agenda for Change rates of basic pay. Within the Darent Valley contract this will mean an uplift in pay for some colleagues.

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