Unattended retail solution is proving popular for the NHS

A one-stop automated retail solution is proving popular for staff and visitors at the East Surrey Hospital, part of the Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust.

The recently installed system offers hospital patients and staff a choice of vending and drink options and is sited in a high-traffic location, close to one of the hospital’s main entrances.

In addition to providing NHS staff and patients with hot and convenient meal options of Rustlers microwavable range, the one-stop vending solution will offer market-leading products from Britvic and Pepsico in the future. The retail and vending solution was installed by unattended retail specialists Nebrak and with payment solutions powered by 365.

These businesses across food-to-go, interior design and payment technology continue to provide customers with the ultimate turn-key operation all of which together form the Smart Retail Solutions Group.

James Turner, sales and marketing director at PG Group Vending, said the unattended system was performing ‘well ahead of expectations’.

An open day held to introduce the new turn-key unit to hospital staff resulted in 800 meals and sandwiches being consumed and after just one month over 600 food products had been purchased, with half of them being Rustlers.

“It’s early days, but we’re really pleased with how things are going and the support we’ve received from Kepak has been fantastic,” said James. “The hospital has a restaurant on site, but importantly we’re extending the food and drink provision outside of core hours and adding real value to the hospital’s catering offer.”

Moving forward, usage is expected to rise amongst the hospital’s 3,500 staff members and the hospital’s 1,000 daily visitors.

Kepak’s Carl Hunter added: “The NHS is one of the UK’s largest providers of food and drink services, responsible for almost 200 million meals each year for staff, patients and visitors, hospitals are looking for solutions which enable them to provide accessible, affordable, convenient catering solutions.

“Through our unattended retail solution, customers can be safe in the knowledge that our offering provides round-the-clock convenience and quality people expect, with easy access to some of their favourite food and drink brands. Our installation with the PG Group Vending is a testament to this model and we have enjoyed partnering with them to offer staff and visitors at the East Surrey Hospital an automated vending solution.”