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Leeds hospitals to put catering contracts out to tender

22 | 01 | 13

The provision of new kitchen equipment and the management of catering services are to be outsourced by the NHS Trust at St James's, Chapel Allerton and Wharfedale hospitals, as the present provision of food production is making a loss.

One drawback of the plans is to be the end of volunteer tea bars at the hospitals by charity WRVS, but a spokesperson for Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust claimed this is unfortunately an unavoidable consequence of the decision to make savings.

The trust's representative told the Yorkshire Evening Post: "We have been keeping the WRVS informed of our plans and would like to stress that the decision is a commercial one which is aimed at ensuring we get the best value for money, as we do not believe our restaurants should be subsidised from patient care budgets."

A precedent has already been set for such outsourced catering, with Leeds General Infirmary receiving catering services from and independent contractor - delivering an important income stream for the trust.

The eventual successful applicant for the new contract will have responsibility for staff training and management, as well as materials handling, supply chain and ensuring delivery of top-quality, nutritious meals.

A date is yet to be set for a final decision on the new contract.

Dr Tim Fox, head of energy and environment at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, recently argued in favour of improved waste management for catering providers looking to make savings, as up to 50 per cent of all food prepared globally could be ending up as waste at present.

Improvements in this area would therefore result in considerable savings, both in terms of the purchase of ingredients and in the time it takes to prepare this wasted food.ADNFCR-16001031-ID-801526467-ADNFCR

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