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BSA publishes health report

14 April 2014

The Business Services Association (BSA) has published a major new health report: Towards a better patient experience

The paper explores the importance of patient experience, the role non-clinical services play in shaping patients' experience during their time in hospital, and how NHS Trusts can seek to deliver a better experience for patients through these services.

The paper, compiled with case studies from members of the BSA Health Committee, makes three key points: the role non-clinical services play in patient experience deserves greater recognition at Trust board level; market testing non-clinical services can help Trusts to realise savings and improvements; and improving procurement processes, including engaging early with providers, can help Trusts to identify best practice, and innovative approaches to service delivery.

The report details several case studies to illustrate its report. These include:

Amey has a 35 year partnership with the Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Trust (BSMHFT) to deliver TFM across 40 buildings in the northeast and west of Birmingham. Since the contract started in 2002, Amey has transformed the service, driving key changes that have improved the Trust’s national key performance indicator scores. With Amey’s help, and the introduction of various cleaning initiatives (such as “Deep clean to keep clean”, a regular programme of intense cleaning activities), the Trust was able to move from red to green and achieve a top score of 5 in the Patient Environment Action Team (PEAT)assessment.

Faced with the challenge of cleaning The Royal London Hospital, the second biggest hospital in Europe, Carillion suggested the use of ‘scrubber driers’ due to the size of the wards; this is an unusual ward cleaning method which is usually used for larger public areas. The introduction of ‘scrubber driers’ has provided increased productivity, high manoeuvrability and easy maintenance. The Cleaning Solution Dosing (CSD) system fitted on the machines has also reduced water consumption by 30-50%, as the system adjusts the amount of cleaning solution dosed on the floor according to speed, leading to fewer puddles on the floors and avoiding potential slips. This supports patient safety and enhances sustainable service delivery.

Berendsen recently helped the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead to decommission its laundry and now provides the hospital with a textile service. This move enabled the creation of a £12m state-of-the-art pathology centre on the old laundry site which will serve not only Queen Elizabeth Hospital but also Sunderland Royal Infirmary and South Tyneside District Hospital.

Working in partnership, Medirest (Compass Group’s healthcare support services business) and Addenbrookes hospital launched a cleaning system for laundering microfibre that provides complete separation of dirty and clean laundry, and captures and destroys microorganisms with no risk of cross contamination. The hospital uses more than 10,000 re-usable microfibre mops and cloths every day to clean all areas of the hospital, including 42 wards with over 1,250 beds, public areas and clinics. The introduction of the system has led to a decline in MRSA and C. difficile and has improved efficiency and control of risks, providing a cleaner, safer environment for patients. There are also environmental savings associated with this system, including 15-20% reduction in water consumption, 80 per cent reduction in electricity usage and 50–70 per cent reduction in the use of detergent.

In Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals, Serco Health Care holds the contract to provide all the Soft FM services, including catering. In June 2012, Serco launched a new range of hospital restaurant meals developed by celebrity chef Richard Hughes, owner of The Lavender House. Diners pay the usual restaurant prices from £3.25-£3.85, while patients are able to order from the new menu via electronic PDAs. The results from patient surveys show a dramatic difference in patient satisfaction with the meals, with overall satisfaction of “very satisfied” climbing from 22% in April 2013 to 65% in October 2013. Patient, Audrey Steward said: “The meals have been absolutely excellent: I’ve been very impressed. The service has been good, the staff have been so kind, there’s a very good variety and plenty if one wants it.”

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