Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust

Imperial College Healthcare is one of the largest NHS Trusts in England, comprising four hospitals: St Mary’s, Paddington; Charing Cross; Hammersmith; and The Queen Charlotte Hospital.

Following the appointment of a new provider, the Trust saved £4million per annum.


The hotel services contract was due for renewal and, after a competitive exercise to find a FM consultancy, Litmus was commissioned by the Trust to manage the tender.

Due to the merger of two large Trusts in 2007 there were a number of legacy contracts, some with the same service providers across the different hospital sites, with different specifications and standards of service at each location. The strategy was to establish a single Trust-wide standard for each service and an upper quartile position for quality and patient experience, whilst maintaining a lower quartile cost base, thereby delivering a best value situation.

The services involved were:

  • Patient catering
  • Cleaning and domestic services
  • Portering
  • Helpdesk
  • Private patients


Litmus was given specific objectives for the various stages of the tender.  These included:

  • To set desired outputs for the new tender, based on:
    • Statistical data from current contracts;
    • Requirements of key stakeholders for each service; and
    • Experience of efficiencies achieved elsewhere.
  • Include a performance management system with clear and achievable KPIs for each service, as well as a recourse methodology for failing performance.
  • Develop a project plan to include key stages, what is in and out of scope and deliverables.
  • Provide ongoing management and reporting of the project.


Nigel Forbes, the Litmus Partnership, said: “We worked as part of the Trust’s project group and engaged with key stakeholders to develop the specifications for each service. We ensured these specifications were all signed off the before commencement of the tender process.

“One of our main aims was to create a standardisation of service specs across all the hospitals and deliver genuine cost savings. There was also a clear need for a robust performance management system.

“Once bids were in, we worked with the project group to evaluate them, holding a number of moderation meetings to obtain a consensus on the quality scores for each service.”


Following technical and financial evaluation of the bids the contract was awarded to a new provider. This resulted in a significant saving of £4million per annum.

litmus colour blocks

“Due to the previous merger there was inconsistency across the board in terms of specifications and service delivery. It needed tightening up and to reflect the fact that all the sites sat under one Trust. We were pleased to be able to help – and deliver significant cost savings.”

Nigel Forbes, the Litmus Partnership