Hillingdon Hospital Trust has signed a new contract for its patient meal provider with a high-tech twist.
The trust chose apetito after a taste competition in June, where 60 staff and patient representatives tested food from all the shortlisted suppliers.
Hillingdon Healthwatch, Age UK and trust governors were all involved in the tender selection process.
The new collaboration is also a first for the NHS , with the meals provided to be cooked from frozen inside the trolleys they are being served in.
From November 1, apetito will deliver frozen meals to Hillingdon Hospital and Mount Vernon Hospital which will be loaded into high tech trolleys on individual patient trays.
The trolley will then cook each meal from frozen, before being wheeled on to the wards and served to patients.
The technology is the first of its kind to be used in NHS hospitals and is part of an effort to keep meals at the hospital as sustainable as possible.
Apetito already provide Hillingdon Council with Meals on Wheels services for some elderly residents as well as supplying food to around 400 hospitals and as many care homes across the UK.
Anne Byrne, facilities manager for the trust, said: "We were particularly impressed with apetito's range and the taste of their meals, as well as their commercial offer, and believe they can further enhance our already well-recognised, high-quality patient meal services at the trust.
She continued: “A key part of the tender was around sustainability and respecting the environment, and apetito’s record on sustainability was a major factor in their success in winning the contract.”
Rosemarie Hoyle, divisional manager at apetito Healthcare said: “We’re delighted that the Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has chosen to work with apetito and we look forward to working together to provide patients with quality, nutritious meals.
She added: “From our collaboration with the trolley manufacturer, Socamel, we are able to offer an advanced catering system not seen before in the UK.
"We are extremely proud of this and believe it will help drive the Trust to flagship status within the NHS.”
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