Saffron Bedside “Can it”

ward staff delivering order

A mini-guide to using our Bedside catering and hospitality software system to manage and improve catering operations in your hospital setting.


Can Saffron Bedside help my hospital evidence Outcome 5? How?

Yes, Saffron Bedside patient ordering software can help your trust to evidence that you meet standards for the CQC’s Outcome 5, by showing that you have a system in place to ensure patients are protected from risks of poor nutrition and hydration. Outcome 5, meeting nutritional needs, specifically relates to Regulation 14 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2010. This states that “(1) Where food and hydration are provided to service users as a component of the carrying on of the regulated activity, the registered person must ensure that service users are protected from the risks of inadequate nutrition and dehydration, by means of the provision of— (a) a choice of suitable and nutritious food and hydration, in sufficient quantities to meet service users’ needs; (b) food and hydration that meet any reasonable requirements arising from a service user’s religious or cultural background; and (c) support, where necessary, for the purposes of enabling service users to eat and drink sufficient amounts for their needs. (2) For the purposes of this regulation, “food and hydration” includes, where applicable, parenteral nutrition and the administration of dietary supplements where prescribed.”

Patient safety and dietary restrictions

Can I account for special dietary requirements in the software, such as allergies or special diets like renal or dysphagia?

Yes, by using the bed details on the ward entry, you can use the ‘diet restrictions’ button to select allergies and restrictions.


You can select special diets by using the card type, where you can choose from types like thick puree for patients with dysphagia.

Patient experience

How can patients choose the most appealing meal?

Saffron Bedside displays a photo of the meal or snack being served. You can easily upload a photo of the dish to the system so you can present a realistic image of how your kitchen produces it. This feature enables patients with communication issues or language barriers to see an accurate presentation of the food they will be choosing. Using photos in this way not only aids clarity in meal selection, but it also helps to manage the patient’s expectations and reduce wastage as a result.

How can Saffron help me identify patients that may need assistance with feeding?

Saffron Bedside has facilities to record where a patient needs assistance with feeding. It also has a tick box to record the use of the ‘red tray’ scheme, where the patient may need either assistance to eat, are at risk from dehydration or malnutrition, or they need to have their nutritional intake monitored. And when you know how many patients need assistance in this way, you can plan labour around them accordingly. In addition, the red tray scheme not only ensures patients have the time and help they need to eat, but also reduces waste because meals are no longer mistakenly disposed of uneaten.

Efficiency and financials

What kind of cost saving can I expect to see?

It depends on your currently systems/processes and the size and nature of your hospital. Typical saving include:

  • £20,000 benefit per year in an average sized hospital realised from the reduction in waste and errors alone
  • a time reduction of 50% in gathering orders at ward level over a paper system
  • significant reduction in ‘call backs’
  • food cost savings of £1.80 per ward per day
  • labour saving of 2 hours per day
  • reduction of food wastage by 50%
  • 4% increase in budget performance via improved visibility of your business performance with our reporting
  • savings of up to 5% on your current food expenditure by monitoring every line of every single invoice against the agreed contract price
  • Improvements in your budget vs. actual performance by as much as 3% by using out Recipe and Menu Management module to correctly cost recipes, automatically update invoice price and model your menu on sales mix

If we look at some example figures from our clients: an 800 bed hospital serving 3 meals a day produces 876,000 meals a year. If each meal costs £2 on average, the annual food

cost would be £1.75million. Even if you make the reduction in food waste is just 2%, that’s a £35k saving  – although we know it’s likely to be 10 times that amount.

For more information, why not read:

Nutritional analysis

Can I design dishes and menus with a certain nutritional profile?

Yes. Working with our main Saffron solution’s recipe and menu modules, you can design and plan from dishes up to entire menu cycles to user-set nutritional benchmarks (or you can import nutritional guidelines). This enables to you to design appropriate foods according to dietary restrictions and required nutrition for various types of patients.

For more information, read:


How can Saffron improve on a paper-based system?

Saffron Bedside is compatible on Windows tablet and Apple iPads, meaning orders can be taken quickly and accurately in a matter of seconds. Taking orders via Saffron Bedside has multiple benefits compared to a paper-based ordering system:


  • Time taken on wards to order is reduced by up to 50%
  • Manual recording errors are reduced
  • Contract penalties incurred by incorrect orders are reduced
  • Patients benefit from a personalised, interactive service
  • No time lag – you don’t need to order food the day before and find that your patient has been moved or discharged
  • No print costs
  • Links with Patient Administration Systems (PAS)

Wastage and consumption

Can Saffron Bedside decrease wastage? How?

Yes, many hospital trusts have reported a huge improvement in wastage. We know that wastage is chronically underreported by most hospitals, where ofteen it’s reported as around 10%. The reality is that wastage can be up to 60% in reality. Saffron is used in more than 100 hospitals – and many report that they have reduced food wastage by 50% by increased accuracy. Given that avoidable waste in the healthcare sector is estimated at £230million per annum, using Saffron to reduce your food wastage goes a long way to mitigate such amounts.

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