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National Healthcare Estates and Facilities Day: The vital role of our healthcare FM and estates team

Jun 21, 2023 | Public | 0 comments

The second National Healthcare Estates and Facilities Day on June 21 recognises and celebrates our dedicated frontline workforce, our cleaners, porters, security guards, helpdesk operators, maintenance operatives and catering teams to name just a few of the roles this team includes. It’s poignant for me to reflect on our dedicated team who deliver essential facilities management services at hospitals across the country.

According to HEFMA, estates and facilities team members make up 8% of the NHS workforce. That’s around 250,000 people whose daily work ensures that hospital environments are safe, comfortable and efficient and where the wellbeing of patients, staff and visitors is the focus.

As we did last year, my leadership team and I chose this day to go back to the floor so we can better understand the daily pressures and challenges our frontline teams face so we can ultimately take action to support them. It is a uniquely rewarding experience and I look forward to seeing first-hand how our teams deliver services for the hospital community day in, day out and the pride they take in their roles. It’s what sets us aside from our competitors, and it’s great to see this spirit shining through, to see the value each of them brings to the individual hospitals and our business, helping us to maintain our position as one of the leading providers of facilities management services in the UK.

We are not a small team, we have a 6,000-strong workforce in the UK, partnering with over 50 hospitals and for this reason we understand how critical our services are in helping to achieve the best outcomes for patients, staff and visitors.

The difference our team makes is tangible. Thanks to them, over the last year, we have achieved an 100% retention rate and secured in excess of £500m in retained business by extending a number of long-term partnerships with the likes of Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust and Queen’s Hospital, Romford where we’ve been providing services since 1999 and 2006 respectively.

At Sodexo our purpose is to create a better everyday for everyone to build a better life for all. Within a healthcare environment, we can embed this purpose throughout the end to end patient experience, which is made up of numerous interactions a person has along their care journey. Everything our facilities management team does has an impact on the patient experience, from the cleanliness of the care environment to the availability of food choices in the hospital restaurant.

Healthcare leaders face increasing pressure to run efficient services that optimise patient flow during a time where overwhelmed capacity threatens their control. Poor staff retention, high patient demand and increased staff burnout are some of the problems they are facing.

Every day, the services delivered by our teams is enabling the doctors, nurses and other clinicians to provide better patient experience and outcomes by supporting in the creation of efficient patient flow.

In a busy and high-pressured environment the services we deliver impact the health and wellbeing of hospital staff. Through our cleaning and infection prevention services we provide a level of comfort that they are in a clean and safe environment, and through the provision of healthy and nutritious food we enable staff, including our own, who are working long hours with the sustenance they need to perform at their best.

Last November new National Healthcare Food & Drink Standards were announced and although the focus is rightly on improving the wellbeing and recovery of patients, the new standards recognised that it is just as important is to do the same for those caring for them.

Nutrition is a key part of our expertise and as a strategic partner to many NHS Trusts we know how important it is for us to continue to innovate and to provide new and exciting initiatives. We are pleased that we are doing just this with the launch of a new automated 24/7 Deli retail solution.

By working with a specialist SME, SV365 Technologies we have recently successfully installed the first 24/7 Deli solution in the UK into the Royal Stoke University Hospital in Stoke on Trent. Frontline staff, visitors and patients now have access to fresh, nutritious hot and cold food options throughout the day and night. This is an exciting step for NHS Trusts, to know that staff working throughout the day and night are well-nourished and hydrated to maintain their health and wellbeing.

Our partnership approach enables reliable control of integrated estates and facilities services which help foster an environment that makes efficient patient flow possible with both clinical and hospital staff working together to improve patient experience and outcomes.

By Philip Leigh, CEO Health & Care, Sodexo UK & Ireland

The post National Healthcare Estates and Facilities Day: The vital role of our healthcare FM and estates team appeared first on FMJ.

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