Hamilton Health Sciences Board of Directors Approves New Contract for Inpatient Nutrition Services and Core Housekeeping
June 25, 2015
At a regular meeting of the Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) Board of Directors held this afternoon, the Directors approved a new, 10-year contract for inpatient nutrition services and 5-year contract for housekeeping services in non-inpatient areas.
After a rigorous evaluation through two separate Request for Proposals (RFP) processes, Compass Group Canada, has been awarded the contract for both Core Housekeeping and Nutrition. Compass Group Canada’s clients include some of the largest and most prominent hospitals and health systems in Canada.
“Compass Group Canada is the industry leader with an outstanding track record of delivering high quality service,” says Renato Discenza, HHS Executive Vice President, Enterprise and Innovation. “They offer us an opportunity to provide better food to our patients, which is what they want and deserve.”
Currently, Hamilton Health Sciences’ (HHS) Nutrition Services Department produces patient food in a central kitchen at the Chedoke site, using a combination of pre-cooked meal items sourced from other food companies and a few items cooked in the Chedoke kitchen. Like many hospitals, HHS has not prepared full patient meals from scratch for years.
A key factor in the decision to contract with an outside company is the condition of the Chedoke kitchen. It requires approximately $10 million for renovations and updates or $22 million for a new facility in order to remain viable. The Nutrition Services workers and leadership who have worked very hard to try to produce good food in these less-than-ideal conditions, will remain HHS employees, but their roles will change to align with the new model for patient meal preparation and delivery.
As part of the Compass Great Living Experience for in-patient food services, Compass will maintain existing therapeutic meal service models for specific patient populations (e.g. bulk food dining room service) and will introduce Steamplicity at HHS. This is an innovative patient food system that has been well received in other Canadian hospitals. The food in Steamplicity meals is freshly cooked using steam pressure, which is recognized as being the healthiest method for retaining most nutrients naturally found in the ingredients. Patients will be able to choose their meals much closer to mealtime from an extensive, restaurant-style menu of nutritious choices that includes more meal and side-dish options than are currently available. Ultimately, patients will receive food that is fresher, hotter, and more appealing.
“The Great Living Patient Experience is the platform for our Steamplicity meal service model to ensure the patient is at the centre of the program. All menus are customized to ensure the highest quality service is provided to patients, ensuring healthy, great tasting menu choices that meet the Recommended Daily Nutrient Intake for Canadians. We’ve seen a tremendous impact on patient satisfaction and meal service delivery quality, while generating cost savings at large hospitals. We expect similar results to be realized at Hamilton Health Sciences,” says Sharon McDonald, President Morrison Healthcare, Compass Group Canada.
Another advantage of going with a large company like Compass is its vast purchasing power and the opportunity it provides to increase the amount of Ontario-grown food served to Hamilton Health Sciences’ patients. Based on the standards achieved by Compass elsewhere, HHS expects to increase the amount of locally-produced food on its menu from the current level of about 20 per cent to more than 50 per cent.
On the housekeeping side, HHS already uses two outside companies – Sodexo and the Innovative Group – to clean non inpatient areas of the organization’s facilities. HHS was required to go to RFP because our existing contracts would expire in 2015. Although Compass will now be the provider for these services, the scope of work being done currently by the outside company does not change under the new contract. Clinical areas of Hamilton Health Sciences facilities will continue to be cleaned by HHS staff. Consistent with legislation, Sodexo and Innovative employees will be offered comparable employment with Compass.