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Top marks for Trust's catering facilities

Date: 06 July 2022

The top rating for food hygiene has been awarded to all six inpatient unit catering facilities run by Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust, the main provider of NHS community services in Sussex. 

Council environmental health officers ruled that standards at each unit’s food outlet were ‘very good’, a testament to the hard work of more than 40 supervisors, housekeepers, and assistants from the Trust’s Facilities team. 

To determine each score, the officers used their zero to five rating scale, in which zero indicates ‘urgent improvement is required’ and five that hygiene standards are ‘very good’. 

Food outlets are required to display a green sticker indicating their rating in a prominent position, a practice that has made the ‘score on the door’ system familiar to shoppers and diners. 

The officers awarded the top ‘five – very good’ rating to Arundel and District Community Hospital, Bognor Regis War Memorial Hospital, Crawley Hospital, Horsham Hospital, The Kleinwort Centre in Haywards Heath, and Zachary Merton Hospital in Rustington. 

Achieving this rating is important because every year the hospitals together serve 265,000 meals - food that must be up to standard to support our patients’ health and wellbeing and recovery. 

To ensure satisfactory levels of food hygiene are maintained, local authority environmental health officers visit each unit every two years to conduct three legally required checks. 

They look at how hygienically food is handled, the physical condition of the premises, and how food is kept safe. They then award the food outlet an overall food hygiene score of between zero and five. 

Although the Facilities team are pleased with their success, they are not complacent and are continuing to work hard not just to maintain standards but to improve them. 

This work includes training staff and a mix of daily, monthly, and quarterly checks, as well as separate annual inspections by the Trust’s Catering Manager and an independent external contractor. 

Following inspections at six Trust-owned sites last year, the contractor gave each one a score of at least 93 per cent and awarded Bognor Regis War Memorial Hospital 100 per cent. 

The catering facilities at four other Trust-run inpatient units have also been awarded the top rating for food hygiene. 

NHS Property Services provides the catering at Crowborough War Memorial Hospital, Lewes Victoria Hospital, and Uckfield Community Hospital; and Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust provides it at Brighton and Hove Intermediate Care Unit. 

This means that the catering facilities at all 10 inpatient units run by the Trust have achieved the top rating for food hygiene.