Select Committee on Health Minutes of Evidence

Memorandum by The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (PS 43)


The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

    (i)  The Trust consists of six hospital sites: St James's, The Leeds General Infirmary, Seacroft, Chapel Allerton, Wharfedale and Cookridge Hospitals. The annual Trust budget is approximately £500 million. We employ approximately 15,000 staff and have approximately 3,000 beds.

    (ii) The Trust was formed as a result of the merger of the two former acute trusts in Leeds (The St James's and Seacroft NHS Hospital Trust and The United Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust). The decision to create the Trust was based on the findings of a review of clinical services in Leeds which identified a need to reconfigure and centralise clinical services across Leeds. Following the merger and creation of the Trust in 1998 a plan was constructed to rationalise the Trust's clinical services (the Trust Reconfiguration Strategy, TRS). Phase I—the construction of an Oncology facility currently provided at Cookridge Hospital, at St James's Hospital and the reprovision of Wharfedale Hospital in the north of Leeds have received outline business case approval and will be delivered through PFI.


    (i)  All non-clinical support services (ancilliary, estate and industrial services) are managed by the Division of Property and Support Services, one of eight divisions of the Trust. The Division employs 2,700 staff and has an annual budget of £50 million. Services are provided on all Trust sites.

    (ii) In common with many trusts the configuration and operation of non-clinical support services has remained unchanged for a considerable period. There is much scope for modernisation and change with respect to the introduction of more flexible and innovative working practices and reward frameworks. Recruitment and retention of support service staff at current rates of pay and terms and conditions, particularly within a buoyant employment market such as Leeds, is a major problem.


    (i)  Patient Catering Services—The Trust has recently entered into a partnership arrangement with Tillery Valley Foods South Wales, to provide frozen patient meals which will be supplemented by a range of in-house products and regenerated at ward level by ward based Trust staff. The contract value is approximately £20 million over 10 years and includes the construction of a receipt and distribution unit within the Trust. Patient Catering Services have historically been provided from traditional in-house production facilities which were expensive to maintain. Also excessive transportation distance from production point to the patient at ward level often resulted in poor food quality. The decision to adopt a hybrid public/private system in this case is based on quality and patient satisfaction with cost being revenue neutral.

    (ii)  Staff Catering Services—The Trust will shortly be reviewing current staff and visitor catering and retail facilities provision and exploring methods of future provision. Staff/visitor facilities at the Leeds General Infirmary are provided by Medirest. The Trust is currently working with Medirest to rationalise and improve the quality of service provided to staff and visitors. With the exception of the Leeds General Infirmary all staff/visitor services are provided in-house. An assessment of the nature of service required, which will include a high level of staff involvement and consultation, versus the expertise and capital necessary to provide the required service will be made which will inform the method of provision.

  (i)  Non-core Hotel Services

  A range of "non-core" (non-ward/clinically based) support services were market tested at Seacroft Hospital several years ago. The services are provided through Initial Healthcare/Rentokil. There is a high degree of user satisfaction with the arrangement, which was entered into on the basis of quality as a primary concern. Technology and expertise not available at the time of contract award within the NHS locally was successfully made available via the contractor.

  (ii)  Estates/Maintenance

  Peaks and troughs in demand in building of engineering maintenance are managed successfully by the sue of a range of private sector contracts and contractors to supplement the in-house estate/maintenance workforce.


  Phase I of the TRS, the reprovision of Oncology Services at St James's (capital value circa £160m) and the reprovision of Wharfedale Hospital in the North of Leeds will be provided through PFI. Following consultation with the staff and staff-side organisations, the Trust has decided to include hard FM (estate services) only in this phase. This creates the opportunity to examine current working practices and value for money across remaining estate services and soft FM services (catering, housekeeping, portering, transport, etc). This does not preclude the creation of more innovative public/private partnership in all or parts of the Trust's non-clinical support services in future. A key issue in our future success will be the willingness of staff-side organisations to participate in true partnership to achieve best value for support services in supporting the Trust's core business.

November 2001

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