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Fuelling frontline teams

Through its innovative partnership with SV365, Sodexo is the first to launch a ready to eat hot and cold range of food 24 hours a day at the Royal Stoke University Hospital. FMJ reports

In November 2022 NHS England published its new standards for food & drink in healthcare, eight standards for hospital food for patients, staff and visitors. The standards were developed following the Independent Review of Hospital Food (2020), chaired by Philip Shelley, which set out recommendations and highlighted the need for updated food and drink standards to ensure that patients, staff and visitors have good quality, healthy, nutritious food options, wherever they are in the country.

Explains Simon Lilley, Director of Strategy & Marketing, Health & Care Sodexo UK & Ireland: “We were honoured to have been part of the working group which developed the new National Healthcare Food & Drink Standards and although the focus is rightly on improving the wellbeing and recovery of patients it is just as important to do the same for those caring for them.

“Nutrition is a key part of our expertise, and this new automated retail solution will ensure we can play our part every day, by serving a selection of hot and cold food around the clock for frontline teams, visitors and patients. It also critically builds on our focus of increasing support for SMEs – 57 per cent of the products we buy in the UK are from SMEs, and now through the 24/7 Deli again we are finding another channel for smaller specialist suppliers to work with Sodexo – it’s something we are very proud of.”

All NHS organisations will be legally required to meet these standards as part of the NHS Standard Contract. The focus of these standards is rightly on improving the wellbeing and recovery of patients, and equally as important is to do the same for those caring for them which is why the new standards also include a requirement for the provision of suitable food and drink solutions for all staff over a 24/7 service period.


The Royal Stoke University Hospital in Stoke on Trent is now leading the way in addressing this standard with the introduction of a new 24/7 automated deli solution which is now providing its staff and visitors with a wide selection of fresh, nutritious hot and cold food options throughout the day and night.

The Trust’s catering partner, Sodexo together with unattended retail experts, SV365 Technologies, developed the solution and in late April the new offer went live at the hospital and is proving popular with hospital staff and visitors now having access to fresh, nutritious hot and cold food options throughout the day and night.

Tim Radcliffe, Net Zero Food Programme Manager for NHS England and Co-Chair of the Expert Panel focusing on 24/7 feeding for NHS Staff recently visited Royal Stoke Hospital and said this of the new 24/7 Deli there: “The new standards aim to improve the quality, nutritional value and sustainability of our hospital catering services, while also addressing the experience and environment in which food is consumed.

“A key imperative is that staff working long, busy shifts in hospitals have access to good quality food and this new Deli does just that. It has created an oasis area for staff to come and have a sit down at 2am after a busy session to enjoy some delicious food and downtime away from the ward. It’s fantastic to see the difference it is making to the team at the hospital.”

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