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Birmingham Children’s Hospital scoops award for mealtime innovation

Press Release   •   Oct 16, 2012 08:30 BST

Birmingham Children’s Hospital has won a facilities management award for its new interactive mobile electronic patient meal ordering system, Maple (stands for Menu Acquisition Portal with Live Entry). It came first in the Innovation in the use of Technology and Systems category at the 2012 British Institute of Facilities Management’s (BIFM) awards.

The award was presented at the Grovesnor House Hotel, London, for the hospital’s new system - the first of its kind to be used within the NHS in the UK, developed by local software developer, Ambinet.  The Children’s Hospital worked closely with its caterer Sodexo, and Ambinet to develop the new system which puts the patient at the heart of the process.

Patient details, including specific dietary requirements, are inputted onto the system on arrival at the ward, and immediately the patient and ward staff are able to view the menu options, using a series of photos, and make their order through the easy-to-use touch screen handheld device.  The device is one which has been developed specifically for medical use so is easy to clean and disinfect to meet infection control standards. 

It provides real-time orders to the kitchen and the chefs have instant access to dietary requirements or dietitian requests. It also provides ward staff with information on the status of the order, i.e. in production; in transit etc, and helps the hospital meet its objective to be sustainable, due to its paperless system, as well as helping to reduce food waste.

Louise Kiely, Associate Director of Facilities at the hospital, said: “At Birmingham Children’s Hospital, children and young people are at the heart of all that we do. Maple helps us make meal ordering appealing, fun, informative and efficient, using mobile touch screen technology which we know our children and young people love. We’re delighted to  receive this BIFM Award alongside our partners, and to be the first in the NHS to successfully use this kind of technology to further improve patient care.”

Denise May, general manager for Sodexo at BCH, commented: “The new Maple system is a fantastic innovation and we are extremely pleased that it has been recognised at these prestigious awards and that we were a part of its development.  We will continue to work closely with the facilities team at the hospital to complete full implementation of the system and will be supporting the next series of workshops which is being held for BCH staff to ensure a smooth roll out.”

Birmingham Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust provides a comprehensive service to children, young people and their families.

We are one of the leading paediatric teaching centres in the country, with international research and development in areas such as:

Our facilities include:


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