Catering staff from Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUH) have been shortlisted for two national industry awards in recognition of their exceptional commitment to improving food services for our patients, their families and staff.
The Hospitals Catering Association (HCA) represents healthcare catering services who help to provide a range of food services in NHS hospitals and other healthcare facilities across the UK. Their annual HCA Awards aim to celebrate those members who provide outstanding healthcare catering for patients, visitors, and staff.
NUH has been recognised with two nominations making this year’s HCA Awards shortlist. Nominated for Caterer of the Year is Chris Neale, Assistant Head of Facilities at NUH, who is the Trust’s Service Lead for catering.
The Caterer of the Year Award recognises Catering Managers who make a significant contribution to the wellbeing and recovery of patients, and help to create a positive experience for visitors and staff who also use their services. Chris was awarded the prestigious title in 2018, and is proud to be shortlisted again this year.
He said: “It’s an honour to be nominated for a national award and the fact that it’s the second year is such a great privilege. The key thing is that we were put forward by our peers, those who know the constraints that we’re under and appreciate the work that goes into delivering a service to patients, visitors, and staff within our organisation.”
Chris has also been shortlisted for Catering Service of the Year, a nomination that he shares with the rest of his team.
“It’s a dedicated team, from the shop floor to service leads. We’re very fortunate at NUH to have a relationship with the ‘Power of 4’, which involves clinicians, dieticians, caterers and patient representatives, all working towards one end goal which is to enhance patient experience. We involve patient representatives in everything we do. It’s their menu, designed for patients, by patients. If we can give them what they need, this will help their recovery, then it helps everything.”
Chris also spoke about importance of food for NUH’s patients: “Food is medicine. Nutrients and hydration are fundamental to patient recovery and if patients are eating well it can really contribute to their recovery.”
NUH’s catering team serves NUH’s catering teams serve 1.9million meals per year, including breakfast lunch and dinner and all meals are free from undesirable additives and preservatives.
All meals are produced onsite at NUH at the Central Food Production Unit (CPU) situated on City Campus and sixty percent of the ingredients used to prepare meals are sourced locally to NUH.
In 2018, Chris helped to implement the ‘NUH Memory Menu’ option at mealtimes, which featured a selection of family favourites and nostalgic dishes made using local Nottinghamshire produce. This year, Chris has sought input from BAME groups to enhance patient menus and is just about to launch a new children’s option, The Robin’s Menu. NUH’s approach to engaging patients and the local community on the development of the ‘Memory Menu’ was praised as ‘outstanding’ practice by the Care Quality Commission. Read more here.
“The Robin’s Menu is a bespoke menu that our team has put together to supplement the current NUH Memory Menu, which will allow children to have access to flexible mealtimes when they need it most.”
The winners will be announced on 11 April at the National Development and Leadership Forum, taking place at Celtic Manor, Newport.