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New flavour for ready prepared meals contract

Wednesday 5 August 2009

NHS Supply Chain enhances choice, information and e-portal ordering services

The new NHS Supply Chain ready prepared meals contract provides an improved choice of meals, nutritional information and an enhanced service to NHS trusts and healthcare providers.

NHS Supply Chain works closely with NHS trusts to deliver a one-stop service for menu planning, nutritional information and ordering, that significantly improves ready prepared meal operations. This is done via an online ordering and purchasing system which is enhanced through the software package, Menu-Mark.

Menu-Mark enables customers to plan and transfer menus directly into the order system; cutting down time and potential for error when compared with the old method of hand written and faxed orders. The online system also provides environmental benefits with the reduction of paper use.

As with all NHS Supply Chain activities, supporting customers is of vital importance and the online e-direct system is backed by a dedicated telesales team who can offer advice, identify potential issues and deal with queries when necessary.

Commenting on the importance of meeting the needs of NHS trusts, Tracey Yeadon, NHS Supply Chain Marketing Manager, said: “By further innovating and enhancing our online systems we can significantly improve the ordering process for NHS trusts of all sizes.

“Customers can order from NHS Supply Chain in the full knowledge that all food products are sourced from approved suppliers, thus maintaining due diligence defence as part of the Food Safety Act 1990.”

The new NHS Supply Chain ready prepared meals contract also includes a brand new nutritional database which contains information submitted by suppliers to a central data pool. This gives caterers and dieticians accurate information relating to each individual meal which, in turn, offers greater control when ensuring patients receive the right individual menu in accordance with their needs.

Additionally, the range now meets a variety of dietary requirements including halal, kosher and allergen. Tried and tested favourites such as cottage pie, lasagne, beef stroganoff, and mashed potatoes and vegetables are included, along with a range of more exotic meals such as king prawn thai red curry, lamb tagine with saffron, cherry tomato and butterbean cassoulet, and pear and fig cheesecake.

“By providing a wider range of meals and ensuring they meet a broad spectrum of special dietary requirements, we can help NHS trusts give patients variety and, most importantly, meals that meet their nutritional needs,” adds Tracey.


Notes to Editors

Press enquiries:
Kirsten Howells, Public – Tel: 01302 730303 or email:

About NHS Supply Chain
NHS Supply Chain is operated by DHL on behalf of the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA). Its aim is to provide over £1 billion of savings to the NHS so that resources are released for customers to focus on quality frontline patient care, manage costs and achieve sustainable value. NHS Supply Chain provides its services to over 600 NHS trusts and private healthcare providers and offers over 620,000 products. It manages the entire supply chain process for medical consumables - from the sourcing of products, right through to their delivery and supply.

Key services include:

By ordering through NHS Supply Chain, trusts negate the need to tender themselves through EU processes (OJEU). This saves trusts time and money on the lengthy tendering process.

NHS Supply Chain arranges the delivery of products to the required location.

NHS Supply Chain offers an electronic system to manage all transactions, including an online catalogue, online ordering and an e-billing system.

The range of over 620,000 products includes:

  • theatres
  • nursing
  • food and facilities
  • clinical markets
  • capital equipment

Based in Alfreton, Derbyshire, UK, the business employs around 2,400 staff in eight locations.

Delivering value to the NHS