Sodexo teams are being mobilised to support the NHS as the caterer and facilities management company helps the Department for Health and Social Care set up Covid-19 drive-through testing centres for key workers.
As part of an industry-wide response and as one of the government's strategic suppliers, Sodexo has said it is focusing on recruiting teams to conduct tests at all centres. The company is drawing from a pool of employees from companies who have staff with medical experience, from volunteers with a medical background and through a targeted recruitment campaign.
Sean Haley, regional chair, Sodexo UK & Ireland, said he was "immensely proud" of how their teams and the wider industry had come together to "share their expertise" and work in partnership with the NHS to fight the threat posed by the disease.
"It has never been more apparent that our business lives and breathes its values. I applaud colleagues who had previously worked at a racecourse serving hospitality packages or had cleaned busy offices, for moving across to use their skills in a hospital or other healthcare environments that urgently needs their help right now."
Haley concluded that everyone was working together to help in the effort to fight the virus and was "ready to respond to further requests for support as the pandemic unfolds".
In an effort to keep employees "safe and working" and to strengthen the healthcare system, Sodexo has said it had been redeploying from parts of the business that have slowed down owing to the coronavirus crisis to provide NHS hospitals with staff in cleaning, portering and catering roles.
The company mobilised its teams within 48 hours to provide bespoke catering, concierge and security services for the first British coronavirus evacuees returning from Wuhan, China, and is one of NHS England's partner organisations supporting the guests 24 hours a day throughout their 14-day quarantine at Arrowe Park hospital near Liverpool.