A fresh approach to food procurement for a NHS Trust – now and into the future

food procurement in hospitals for patients


In a recent tender, Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust was looking for a proactive and supportive partner. Their needs found a good fit with allmanhall’s approach to delivering sustainable value and the Trust has been impressed with the quality and delivery of what they have seen from allmanhall so far…


Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust has always operated an in-house catering service and previously worked with a procurement partner to support the catering purchasing. However, in early 2023, their incumbent contract came to a natural end. This generated the need to re-tender their food procurement service to test the marketplace in line with the public spending purchasing regulations adhered to by the Trust.

The tender was for a fully managed procurement service for the catering department at Salisbury District Hospital. The operation includes freshly cooked patient feeding, production of circa 1,500 meals per day, as well as two staff and visitor restaurants. allmanhall was awarded the contract and immediately started scoping the Trust’s requirements to ensure objectives, priorities and challenges were fully met.

What was needed?

The Trust’s key objectives were:

  • Full supplier management
  • A proactive and supportive partner to drive commercial and operational efficiencies whilst improving quality
  • A user-friendly tech platform to drive improvements and to include functionality such as e-ordering, e-invoicing, recipe and menu management, allergen and nutrition management, patient ordering
  • Access to comprehensive and accurate reporting – financial and operational
  • Support service improvements
  • Collaboration to enable the Trust’s focus on sustainability.

The results?

Through the tender process, allmanhall demonstrated the ability to achieve all the above and more. The Trust was reassured that the fully managed catering procurement service from allmanhall would:

• Deliver full supplier management
• Ensure ongoing competitive pricing
• Tender all categories
• Mitigate cost pressures, increases and risks via supplier negotiations
• Support sustainable sourcing and a transition to net zero supply chains
• Provide proactive range management and continuous review of purchases to…
• … Identify more cost-effective alternatives (buy right analysis)
• Aid food safety compliance, audits & accreditations
• Lead in supplier due diligence audits

Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust awarded the contract to allmanhall and the award-winning support from the independent food procurement experts started immediately, with a dedicated team handling the mobilisation of accounts. The multiple stakeholders were kept fully informed via weekly progress meetings and regular training, on-boarding was provided to the team at the Trust, for peace of mind and to ensure the change was smooth and effective.

Food procurement making meals for patients

The contract has some very strict criteria and KPIs. This included securing continuity of supply from some of the local suppliers already engaged with Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust. allmanhall engaged with them at the request of the Trust and started their onboarding process. This included establishing them on the catering controls platform – industry-leading technology provided by allmanhall as part of the full procurement solution. This is the platform that the Trust would go on to use for everything from e-ordering to credit notes; stocktaking to menu management and costing; allergen management and patient ordering.

Here to help...

The start of the relationship between allmanhall and the Trust has been approached as two key phases:

Phase one – onboarding all suppliers, including client-nominated and local supply partners of the
Trust, to ensure a smooth transition and continuity of service for both patient and staff catering.

Within phase one the following was also completed:

  • All existing suppliers and a new supply base were onboarded, and the continuity of service was maintained
  • All relevant staff within both the finance and catering operational team received platform training and orders were placed online from day one
  • A large charity event that was happening immediately, at the very start of the contract, was fully supported by suppliers, facilitated by allmanhall
  • Product samples were sent to the Retail Manager to support the introduction of new lines into the public restaurants
  • All staff introduced to The Pass – a client portal created by allmanhall to streamline communication and provision of information and resources
  • A session to fully scope the approach to support the Trust’s journey to achieve sustainable sourcing and a transition to net zero supply chains.

Phase two – allmanhall are ensuring ongoing competitiveness and that the requirements of the Trust continue to be met, whilst introducing:

  • Recipe and menu compilation on the catering controls platform
  • Bedside e-ordering for patients
  • Electronic stock-taking

As part of phase 2, allmanhall are also supporting:

  • Further development of the retail offer
  • Establishing a vegan offer
  • Achieving Silver Food for Life
  • The Trust’s sustainability focus and goals.

allmanhall are providing a fully supported approach to food procurement for Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust, with a focus on real results and high standards straight away, together with a collaborative approach for the long term.

What did the client say?

“allmanhall are experts in their field and have handled the mobilisation of our contract effectively and extremely efficiently. Communication has been excellent, from weekly update meetings to advise of additional savings the Trust could make by making some small category changes, together with the introduction of additional products to support and enhance the retail service. We have received a hands-on approach from allmanhall be it training on the systems, to reviewing additional product lines. The ethos and approach to sustainability of allmanhall is a very close match to that of the Trust. We look forward to a successful ongoing partnership.”

Sarah Goodchild – Procurement Manager, Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust

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